Thursday, July 18, 2024

595-bigha arable land being lost a day: Study

Bangladesh has been losing about 595.87 bighas (197 acres) of cultivable land a day with a huge number of farmers leaving their occupation over the last four decades, says a study.
Economist Prof Dr Abul Barakat revealed the highlights of his recent research titled “Commercialisation of agricultural land and waterbodies and disempowerment of poor in Bangladesh: An exploratory study” at a seminar yesterday.
Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), a non-government organisation, organised the seminar at the Jatiya Press Club in the city, with ALRD chairperson Khushi Kabir in the chair.
Prof Barakat in the keynote paper said some 44,255 farmers left agriculture farming every year over the last four decades. “Around 154,777 fishermen have been forced to change their jobs per year over the last two decades.”
Economists at the seminar also stressed integrated agriculture reform programme to stop commercialisation of agriculture and establish ownership of poor farmers on cultivable land.
They said marginal farmers are losing their land day by day due to commercialisation of agriculture, which forced them to leave their traditional farming and become the worst victims of poverty.
Noted economist Dr Kazi Kholiquzzaman said farmers have been leaving farming gradually and migrating to towns seeking alternative jobs. “We have to identify the reasons of leaving the farming.”
About the landlessness of marginal farmers, he said poor farmers are losing their cultivable lands due to various reasons including power structure, river erosion, and salinity of the coastal belt.
Dr Kholiquzzaman also said the ongoing climate change is a great threat to agriculture. If sea level rises one metre by next 30-40 years, about 20-25 percent of agricultural land will go under sea water, he said.
Karmojibi Nari chairman Shirin Akhter, IUCN Bangladesh country director Prof Niaz Ahmed Khan, and DU Prof Dr Shafique Uzzaman also addressed the seminar.

 

Via: UNB/The Daily Star

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