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Alternative use of wheat land to implement a potential wheat holiday as wheat blast control : in search of feasible crops in Bangladesh

By: Mottaleb, K.A.
Contributor(s): Singh, P.K | Xinyao He | Akbar Hossain | Kruseman, G | Erenstein, O.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: Amsterdam, Netherlands : Elsevier, 2019ISSN: 0264-8377.Subject(s): Wheat | Crops | Infectious diseases | Assessment | BangladeshOnline resources: Open Access through Dspace In: Land Use Policy v. 82, p. 1-12Summary: The first occurrence of wheat blast in Bangladesh was confirmed in wheat (Triticum aestivum) fields in February 2016 and re-occurred in the subsequent years. This study explores the potential of alternative use of current wheat land as a strategy to combat the disease. Economically feasible alternative crops would need to be cultivated in the current wheat area by implementing a potential ‘wheat holiday’ – that is discontinuing wheat cultivation for a few years – be it in the 10 blast affected districts, in blast vulnerable districts or the entire country. An ex-ante economic assessment procedure is applied to examine the potential economic gains (losses) of alternative wheat land use. Results indicate maize, lentils, onions and garlic show potential as feasible alternatives if done as a portfolio combination and with adequate support to ameliorate and ease the transition; whereas boro rice, gram and potato do not appear feasible. Still, considering market volatility, overall food security and logistic challenges, the findings do not support a potentially comprehensive, strict and permanent ‘wheat holiday’ across the entire country. Instead, the study calls for research funding for disease epidemiology and forecasting, as well as the development and dissemination of blast-tolerant wheat varieties and complementary practices targeted at Bangladesh and the broader South Asian setting as a more sustainable and feasible solution to combat and manage wheat blast.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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The first occurrence of wheat blast in Bangladesh was confirmed in wheat (Triticum aestivum) fields in February 2016 and re-occurred in the subsequent years. This study explores the potential of alternative use of current wheat land as a strategy to combat the disease. Economically feasible alternative crops would need to be cultivated in the current wheat area by implementing a potential ‘wheat holiday’ – that is discontinuing wheat cultivation for a few years – be it in the 10 blast affected districts, in blast vulnerable districts or the entire country. An ex-ante economic assessment procedure is applied to examine the potential economic gains (losses) of alternative wheat land use. Results indicate maize, lentils, onions and garlic show potential as feasible alternatives if done as a portfolio combination and with adequate support to ameliorate and ease the transition; whereas boro rice, gram and potato do not appear feasible. Still, considering market volatility, overall food security and logistic challenges, the findings do not support a potentially comprehensive, strict and permanent ‘wheat holiday’ across the entire country. Instead, the study calls for research funding for disease epidemiology and forecasting, as well as the development and dissemination of blast-tolerant wheat varieties and complementary practices targeted at Bangladesh and the broader South Asian setting as a more sustainable and feasible solution to combat and manage wheat blast.

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