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Remediation of arsenic for agriculture sustainability, food security and health in Bangladesh

Arsenic contamination in groundwater has been reported in more than 20 countries around the world and, in many, shallow groundwater is used for both irrigation and drinking water purposes. In Bangladesh, arsenic threatens the health of up to 30 million people through arsenic-laden groundwater transfer to crops and directly via drinking water. The problem originates in the arsenic-rich bedrock of the Brahmaputra river basin that filters irrigation and drinking water pumped to the surface through millions of tube wells.
Management options of health risk prevention and agricultural sustainability should therefore focus on preventing and minimizing As input to soils and minimizing human exposure.
Various management options are explored in the current FAO-Cornell remediation study, reporting the first successfully implemented field pilot study in the management strategy of arsenic in crop production and for sustainable environment. Optimizing water efficiency shows to be a sound option to reduce AS input while saving water; furthermore aerobic growth conditions in paddy fields show to reduce bioavailability and uptake of As in rice. Production of rice on raised beds is a viable strategy to minimize the effects of soil contamination with As on boro season rice productivity, and to reduce the As content of both grain and straw. Wheat and maize can be successfully grown as alternative crops to boro season rice, reducing irrigation water inputs considerably.
Furthermore, these remediation measures appear also to be applicable and useful as adaptive measures in coping with changing agriculture practice and responses to climate change.

TitleRemediation of arsenic for agriculture sustainability, food security and health in Bangladesh
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDuxbury, J., Panaullah, G.
Secondary TitleWorking paper / FAO Water
Pagination28 p. : 17 fig., 4 tab.
Date Published2007-01-01
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Place PublishedRome, Italy
Keywordsarsenic, bangladesh, crop production, groundwater pollution, health impact, sdiasi, sdiwat
Abstract

Arsenic contamination in groundwater has been reported in more than 20 countries around the world and, in many, shallow groundwater is used for both irrigation and drinking water purposes. In Bangladesh, arsenic threatens the health of up to 30 million people through arsenic-laden groundwater transfer to crops and directly via drinking water. The problem originates in the arsenic-rich bedrock of the Brahmaputra river basin that filters irrigation and drinking water pumped to the surface through millions of tube wells.
Management options of health risk prevention and agricultural sustainability should therefore focus on preventing and minimizing As input to soils and minimizing human exposure.
Various management options are explored in the current FAO-Cornell remediation study, reporting the first successfully implemented field pilot study in the management strategy of arsenic in crop production and for sustainable environment. Optimizing water efficiency shows to be a sound option to reduce AS input while saving water; furthermore aerobic growth conditions in paddy fields show to reduce bioavailability and uptake of As in rice. Production of rice on raised beds is a viable strategy to minimize the effects of soil contamination with As on boro season rice productivity, and to reduce the As content of both grain and straw. Wheat and maize can be successfully grown as alternative crops to boro season rice, reducing irrigation water inputs considerably.
Furthermore, these remediation measures appear also to be applicable and useful as adaptive measures in coping with changing agriculture practice and responses to climate change.

Notes31 ref.
Custom 1241.3, 822

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Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.