Bitter truth over Bangladesh land
In Bangladesh, poor people become the most vulnerable victim of land grab practice because they do not have enough capacity to submit a lawsuit, and do not have financial resource to proceed the case to the court. Land grab issue continues occurring in the country, and putting the country’s food security at risk. Farmers’ arable land, water bodies, canals, and rivers are being grabbed viciously by group of people.
In Bangladesh, poor people become the most vulnerable victim of land grab practice because they do not have enough capacity to submit a lawsuit, and do not have financial resource to proceed the case to the court.
These facts were being presented during a roundtable discussion organized in Dhaka by ILC Asia member in Bangladesh, Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) on 10 February 2018.
The discussion which was chaired by ALRD Executive Director, Mr. Shamsul Huda, was being sharpened by rich statements from lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha, United National Awami Party (UNAP) president, Pankaj Bhattacharya, Socialist Party of Bangladesh President Comrade, Khalekuzzaman, Supreme Court Lawyer advocate Tabarak Hossain, Prof. Dr. Abul Hossain and Bangladesh Krishok Federation President Badrul Alam.
The discussion aimed to call the government for formulating a law to protect agricultural land across the country, boosting agro output, and also ensuring food security in the country.
Referring to the formulation of National Land Use Policy 2001, Mr. Tabarak claimed that the government is cheating half-educated people and play their role in protecting the land grabbers instead. However, he also stated that the farmers must aware on their rights first.
Dr. Abdul Hossain confirmed the statement by saying that ‘local government power structure’ is the reason behind power structure by setting up economic zone, while the food security has not built yet.
They call the government to address the problem immediately and stop the land grab actions.
“The law which protecting the rights of the farmers and indigenous peoples must be drafted immediately”. He further added.
According to a report issued by ALRD Report, around one percent agricultural land is being turned into non-farm every day. While the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistic reported that around 68,700 hectares of farmland shrink 0.738 percent every year.
The same report mentioned that most of the agricultural land are now being “transported” into housing sector, urbanisation and industrialisation.
Lawmaker, Fazle Hossain Badsha promised to issue a bill in the parliament for protecting agriculture land and ensuring food security for all, as land for poor people, poor farmers, and indigenous peoples are currently being occupied by the land grabbers. He, additionally, also called the farmer’ movement to hand in hand in protecting the environment and farmers.
*Pictures by NES Bangladesh