Of late, during a presentation on ‘Land Acquisition and Biodiversity Preservation Plan’ in adjacent areas of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Complex at Tungipara in Gopalganj, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has rightly said that all villages will have to be developed in a planned way protecting biodiversity and ensuring civic amenities for all. She further said that not only Upazilas, civic facilities will have to be ensured in rural areas too as our government aimed to develop villages.
Reportedly, the four-year-long Land Acquisition and Biodiversity Preservation project will be implemented by the Local Government Engineering Department at a cost of Tk 395 crore. Under the project, development of roads, construction of bridges, culverts and drains, acquisition of land, preservation of biodiversity, digging canals, reconstruction of river banks, renovation water-bodies and installation of streetlights will be done.
In Bangladesh, almost 65 per cent of the total population lives in villages. Therefore it is natural that for ‘inclusive’ development, the government must focus on them. We need to follow the effective rural development strategies for improving the quality of life in rural areas, self employment to rural people and raising profits to the farmers to improve the Indian economy. We must give top priority to the development of villages in a planned way — preserving the sustainability and biodiversity of the villages will positively impact cities in the long run. For rural development, one often hears of providing urban facilities to rural areas. The word “Rurban” is often bandied about. However, it should be understood that modern urban areas require many complex facilities which cannot be made available in a very small scale.
The farmers in Bangladesh have the potential
to not only become self-sustainable,
but also to largely contribute to
the economic growth of the country.
But the government has to provide the required support.
We hope one day agriculture of the country may become
remunerative enough for governments to prepare and
present annual agriculture plans in
Parliament and the state assemblies
The notion of rural development has been conceived in diverse ways by researchers, ranging from thinking of it as a set of goals and programmes to a well-knit strategy, approach or even an ideology. There is a widely shared view that its essence should be poverty alleviation and distributive Justice oriented economic transformation.
In Bangladesh, It is generally difficult even to provide basic facilities for health and education in rural areas as teachers and doctors are simply not willing to live in these villages without adequate facilities for their families. Creating model villages is thus going to be difficult. As villagers get educated and leave for towns, a boost to farm productivity, non-agriculture income, rural ecology and crafts can curb urban migration, helping cities as well.
The farmers in Bangladesh have the potential to not only become self-sustainable, but also to largely contribute to the economic growth of the country. But the government has to provide the required support. We hope one day agriculture of the country may become remunerative enough for governments to prepare and present annual agriculture plans in Parliament and the state assemblies.
For a sustainable rural development, developing the regional connectivity is a must. Therefore, it is high time that the government attaches more importance on developing rural roads. This has now become more of a necessity for alleviating poverty in rural areas. An efficient rural road network can play the most important role in improving rural livelihoods.
Rural communities in developing countries are still faced with challenges related to access to basic services, economic opportunities and some degree of incoherence with regard to planning related to rural-urban divide. Investments in environmental protection, rural infrastructure and in rural health and education are critical to sustainable rural development and can enhance national well-being. Beyond meeting basic needs, investments must be linked to the potential to raise productivity and income. The vulnerabilities of the rural poor to the economic and financial crisis and to climate change and water shortage must be addressed. The success of sustainable rural development depends on our efforts deal with climate change, drought, desertification and natural disaster.
Sayeed Hossain Shuvro is Editorial Assistant, Bangladesh Post