Agroforestry for livelihood security in agrarian landscapes of the Padma floodplain in Bangladesh

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In the Padma floodplain of Bangladesh, the traditional system of agriculture has become unsustainable due to high population growth. Mango-based agroforestry which has been practiced by the farmers since the 1990s, is a promising alternative and is considered as one of the few options to lift farmers out of poverty and improve livelihood security. This paper examines the potential of mango-based agroforestry to improve livelihoods, using data collected by rapid rural appraisal, farmer participatory research, stakeholder analysis and a farm household survey in six representative villages in the floodplain. Farmers with the least land were found to allocate a higher percentage of their land to agroforestry, and the increased income from agroforestry compared to other agricultural systems helps reduce relative poverty. This income maintains basic household needs, providing food security and fuelwood, and contributes to healthcare, housing and sanitation conditions, and meeting educational expenses.

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