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Understanding adaptive capacity: sustainable livelihoods and food security in coastal Bangladesh

This paper analyses data from a household-level survey of 980 agricultural and fishing households in seven sites across southern Bangladesh. It examines the relationship between assets, livelihood strategies, food security and changes in farming practices. The results of the study suggest that the least food secure households are also the least adaptive, and are making few, if any changes, in their agricultural practices. The paper argues that the importance of diversification as a strategy to deal with change is evident: households making more changes in their farming practice are more diversified in terms of the number of different agricultural outputs produced and sold. The study also finds strong links between education and adaptability. It further notes that market-related factors are more frequently given as reasons for changes in practices than climate-related factors.