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1 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Save agro land with policy

Save agro land 
with policy

At a recent seminar on agriculture land protection, speakers have unitedly called for policy to save agro land from being used for non- agriculture purposes. Reportedly, 6930 brick kilns are on agro land which not only reduces available arable land but also destroys the fertility of the ground on which they stand.

A shocking revelation tells us that on average, 661.45 acres of farmland are grabbed by non-agro sectors each year. This is indeed disconcerting and as per Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, arable land is depleting by 40,000 hectares a year. The consequences are often drastic because when fertile land is overtaken by other enterprises, crop production falls and farmers are forced to seek out an alternative livelihood.

To save agro lands, the importance of policy has been highlighted on several occasions; for good reason, only policy will not be enough because before a policy is enforced, there needs to be a concerted drive by the government to recover land which is already under occupation by non-agro activities.

Many of the brick kilns are owned by politically linked people who use their influence to ward off any inspection by media or other relevant bodies.

In fact, in Bangladesh, the issue of illegal occupation of land, be it for agriculture or for other reasons, is a perennial scourge which can only be tackled when the administration is committed to recovering such areas disregarding political influence.

Even if the administration is willing to take action against unscrupulous land grabbers, it’s political connection that often prevents it from doing so. This also applies in case of gobbled up land by rivers. Once a directive comes from the very top with a clear message that political links will not provide immunity, the administration can move to recover lands. So, it’s common sense that before policy is formulated, the misuse of political influence has to be tackled.

In the past, such calls have fallen into deaf ears with land recovery always mired in complication, often being re-occupied after a certain time had elapsed. Agriculture land can be saved with some exemplary moves that may include providing alternative land to brick kiln owners plus other incentives.

Once there are options, kiln owners will feel encouraged to adhere to regulations.  The new government can also set up a time frame under which, all district administrations will be asked to show a certain area of recovered agro land.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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