The crops that we grow for food need specific climatic conditions to show better performance in view of economic yield. A changing climate could have both beneficial and harmful effects on crops. Keeping the above view in mind, this study is undertaken to investigate the impacts of climate change (viz. changes in maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall, humidity and sunshine) on the yield and cropping area of four major food crops (viz. Aus rice, Aman rice, Boro rice and wheat) in Bangladesh. Heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent standard error (HAC) and feasible generalized least square (FGLS) methods were used to determine the climate-crop interrelations using national level time series data for the period of 1972–2010. Findings revealed that the effects of all the climate variables have had significant contributions to the yield and cropping area of major food crops with distinct variation among them. Maximum temperature statistically significantly affected all the food crops’ yield except Aus rice. Maximum temperature also insignificantly affected cropping area of all the crops. Minimum temperature insignificantly affected Aman rice but benefited other three crops’ yield and cropping area. Rainfall significantly benefitted cropping area of Aus rice, but significantly affected both yield and cropping area of Aman rice. Humidity statistically positively contributed to the yield of Aus and Aman rice but, statistically, negatively influenced the cropping area of Aus rice. Sunshine statistically significantly benefitted only Boro rice yield. Overall, maximum temperature adversely affected yield and cropping area of all the major food crops and rainfall severely affected Aman rice only. Concerning the issue of climate change and ensuring food security, the respective authorities thus should give considerable attention to the generation, development and extension of drought (all major food crops) and flood (particularly Aman rice) tolerant varieties.
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