Skip navigation

The High Barind Tract: a challenging drought-prone agricultural environment

The High Barind Tract: a challenging drought-prone agricultural environment

Riches, C.R. (2008) The High Barind Tract: a challenging drought-prone agricultural environment. In: Riches, C.R., Harris, D., Johnson, D.E. and Hardy, B., (eds.) Improving agricultural productivity in rice-based systems of the High Barind Tract of Bangladesh. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños (Philippines), pp. 3-6. ISBN 978-971-22-0229-2

[img] PDF
(ITEM_2151)_RICHES_IRRI.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike.

Download (2MB)


The Barind Tract is a distinctive physiographic unit comprising a series of uplifted blocks of terraced land covering 8,720 km2 in northwestern Bangladesh between the floodplains of the Padma (known as the Ganges in India) and the Jamuna rivers (the main channel of the lower Brahmaputra). Spread over parts of the greater districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Bogra of Bangladesh, and Maldah District of West Bengal in India, the Barind includes 773,000 ha in Bangladesh, of which 532,000 ha are cultivable. Rainfall is comparatively low in this region, with the long-term average being about 1,250 mm in the west and 2,000 mm in the northeast, occurring mainly from late April to October.
With a variable rainfall and temperature ranging from 25 to 35 °C (regularly exceeding 40 °C) in the monsoon season, the area is considered semiarid and drought-prone. The aman rice1 (monsoon)-growing season ranges from 180 days in the west to 220 days in the northeast but the frequency of dry periods, particularly in July and August, is the highest in the country. The Barind is at a comparatively higher elevation than the adjoining floodplain and there are two terrace levels—one at 40 m above sea level and the other between 19.8 and 22.9 m. Therefore, when the floodplains go under water during the monsoon,the Barind Tract remains relatively free from flooding and is drained by a few small streams. About 47% of the Barind region is classified as highland, about 41% as medium highland, and the rest is lowlands. Although 55% of the Barind was forest in 1850, subsequent rapid population growth resulted in 70% of the land being converted to arable land by 1970. The area is now characterized by terraced slopes with bunded fields without water control other than drainage by gravity to lower-lying fields and streams.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: [1] Forms the first section entitled "Setting the Scene" - C.R. Riches was also lead editor of publication. [2] Edited by C.R. Riches, D. Harris, D.E. Johnson, and B. Hardy. 2008. Improving Agricultural Productivity in Rice-Based Systems of the High Barind Tract of Bangladesh. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute. 215 p. [2] This publication is copyrighted by the International Rice Research Institute (2008) and is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License (Unported). Unless otherwise noted, users are free to copy, duplicate, or reproduce, and distribute, display, or transmit any of the articles or portions of the articles, and to make translations, adaptations, or other derivative works under the following conditions: a: Attribution: The work must be attributed, but not in any way that suggests endorsement by IRRI or the author(s). b: NonCommercial: This work may not be used for commercial purposes. c: ShareAlike: If this work is altered, transformed, or built upon, the resulting work must be distributed only under the same or similar license to this one. To view the full text of this license, visit [3] Stemmed from discussions at Workshop: Improving agricultural productivity in rice based systems of the High Barind Tract, held 4-5 March 2006, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Uncontrolled Keywords: High Barind Tract, aman rice
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 13:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics