Bangladesh, being an agricultural country, is always trying to expand the farming sector. As the land is suitable for producing food for the public and meets the domestic need as well as exploits export opportunities abroad in the sector. However, it is disconcerting to know that around 43-lakh hectares of arable land remain uncultivated in the country despite the government’s priority programme to make the best use of every inch of available cultivable land under agricultural production to ensure food security.
Feeding a large and burgeoning population we have with the limited land area of the country is quite a feat in itself. Experts in the sector opine that any fallow land left unplanted is used by landowners to construct building or similar structures. This shows a lack of awareness despite the Prime Minister’s efforts in emphasising and highlighting the importance of not leaving an inch of land uncultivated.
There are previous statistics that point to the
continuous decline in arable land in the
country in favour of building structures
The fact remains that the government alone cannot put an end to unplanned construction of dwelling houses on arable land. In such a situation, experts say, we have to find a way for crop diversification on the available land. On the other hand, there are previous statistics that point to the continuous reduction of arable land in the country because of unplanned construction of various structures. If such is the case then very soon the 43-lakh hectares may turn into housing plots.
A study carried out in this regard indicated that between 1976 and 2000, around 13,412 hectares of agricultural land was lost. In contrast, in the subsequent period on ten years from 2000 to 2010, over 30,000 hectares of land was lost.
This growing trend of transforming arable land must be changed and this can only be done through encouraging people to get into farming directly or indirectly to increase the agro-output of the country. As a result, not only will the country’s food security increase but also the loss of farm land will come to a halt.