Dhaka Courier

Livelihood diversification and landlessness in rural Bangladesh

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Land is the mother of all resources. Land is lost not only through social and economic causes and planned infrastructure building but also unpredictable interventions in the form of natural disasters – draught, flood, cyclone, landslide and earthquake.

On the basis of livelihood diversification and landlessness, Researcher Rie Makita had published a book on “livelihood diversification and landlessness in rural Bangladesh” in 2007 from University Press Limited.

This research based manuscript elucidates rural poverty, poorest category of rural population, commercialization of agriculture, rural non-farm sector in Bangladesh, silk production, poultry rearing, pond fishery and future rural development policies.

This book provides a new viewpoint for the livelihoods framework in which livelihood diversification has been analyzed as a process for survival or accumulation. As an instrument of the bridging strategy, the book proposes the creation of a sponsored non-farm sector in the rural economy or the creation of a partnership enterprise by landless producers and a sponsor, through a sub-contract. This theoretical concept is examined empirically through three income-generating programmes implemented for the landless poor by a Bangladesh NGO.

This book explores how the landless poor, excluded from land-based agricultural development, can open up an opportunity to get out of poverty in the rural economy. Author critically explains that the silk production – non competition in a decline economic sector, poultry rearing – owns a market differentiation and mutual cooperation and finally pond fisheries – owns a sharing market as less as possible.

Researcher clarifies a gap between the growth and poverty-reduction dimensions of non-land-based rural development I Bangladesh. The former is directed towards the non-poor; the latter is open to the landless poor. The poverty-reduction dimension is effective in reducing poverty but is not sufficient to help the landless escape from poverty. It is compulsory to bridge the gap and guide the remaining poor to the threshold of growth dimension. This transitional process is interpreted as livelihood diversification from survival to accumulation.

Land administration plays vital role in livelihood diversification in general record of land holding although marginal people sometimes does not access correct information as their lack of knowledge. At ground level, political affiliation, social relationship, economic conditions, cultural settings – have their due role in the land market through the interactive mechanisms of property rights, writer explained.

It is known to all that, modern farming practices and development works have imposed tremendous pressure on environmental security and sustainability. Infectious diseases, ecological deterioration, loss of biodiversity, soil health depletion, extermination of beneficial pest and climate alteration have become the recurrent comprehensive threats today.

Our farming practices are intensifying in the name of rejuvenation. Intensification encourages farmers to employ more agrochemicals in land. Even farmers are involved in commercial cultivation and contract farming with national and international companies. International agencies counsel local farmers to use hybrid seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, water pulling out machine – formed by them. In general modern agriculture has brought superior for farmers. But the existing crisis – higher amount of methane gas production, killing both beneficial and harmful pest, less pollination, arsenic pollution, and nutritional pollution, skin diseases of farmers, soil erosion and environmental degradation emerges mutiny.

Time offers to ensure land security for all indigenous peoples and religious minority groups in Bangladesh; apart from that sustainable livelihood pattern are much more imperative for food security and farmers concept on land poverty and commercialization of agriculture. This book is very important one for agronomists, agriculture scientists, ecological researchers, students of agriculture economics and environmental sciences.

Shishir Reza; Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • Shishir Reza
  • Issue 28
  • Livelihood diversification and landlessness in rural Bangladesh

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