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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Peter Atkins

Isalm, T. & Atkins, P.J. (2007). Indigenous floating cultivation: a sustainable agricultural practice in the wetlands of Bangladesh. Development in Practice 17(1): 130-136.

Author(s) from Durham


Floating-bed cultivation has proved a successful means to produce agricultural crops in various wetland areas of the world. In freshwater lakes and wetlands, vegetables, flowers, and seedlings are grown in Bangladesh using this floating cultivation technique, without any additional irrigation or chemical fertiliser. No detailed study of this indigenous cultivation technique has been published to date, although the laboratory method, hydroponics, is well documented in the professional literature. Our study is focused on the nature and characteristics of the Bangladeshi system, where local farmers have demonstrated the potential for the sustainable use of such common-property local water resources. We seek to establish a reference point for further research into this technique for its possible refinement and an assessment of its suitability for replication.