Assessment of Reactive Nitrogen Flows in Bangladesh’s Agriculture Sector

TitleAssessment of Reactive Nitrogen Flows in Bangladesh’s Agriculture Sector
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsRahman M.Mizanur, Biswas JChandra, Sutton M, Drewer J, Adhya TKumar
Date Published12/2021

To assess the status of and trends in agricultural nitrogen (N) flows and their wider consequences for Bangladesh, in this study, we analyzed data from national and international bodies. The increased rates of N fertilizer applied for increased food production leaves behind a huge amount of unutilized reactive N (Nr). N fertilizer use is the largest in the crop sector, an important sector, where current annual consumption is 1190 Gg. The present combined annual Nr production from crop, fishery, and livestock sectors is ~600 Gg, while emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, are ~200 Gg. Poor N management results in Nr leaking into the environment, which has increased approximately 16-fold since 1961. One potential consequence is the disruption of ecosystem functioning. The balanced tradeoff between food production and reducing Nr input needs to be achieved. One solution to reducing Nr may be a holistic approach that optimizes N application rates and incorporates waste of one subsector as an input to another applying the principle of the circular economy.