EFFECTS OF UNPLANNED RAPID URBANIZATION ON FOOD SECURITY IN BANGLADESH AND WAYS AHEAD
Keywords:UNPLANNED RAPID URBANIZATION, FOOD SECURITY
Urbanization began for the security of food grains, but in a declining land-man ratio situation unplanned rapid urbanization contributes in food insecurity. In Bangladesh urban population is 28 percent of total population and rate of urbanization is 3.1 percent. Many of the urban areas grew up in the middle of prime agricultural land reducing food production. Both pull and push factors contribute in migration of people from rural areas. In absence of clear-cut policies slums, infrastructures, mills, factories, shopping malls and other establishments mushroomed in and around urban areas and communication centers in total disregard for an active and healthy life especially in terms of environment and food security. The low income slum dwellers spend 61 percent of earnings for food and still per capita maximum affordable expense per day is only taka 30 making them suffering from food insecurity. In such reality the research was conducted using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, and computer generated excel programmes were used for processing data from both primary and secondary sources to draw inferences. In Bangladesh one percent of cultivable land roughly 80,000 hectares is lost each year to encroachment of urban settlements, industry and infrastructure and together with population growth of 2 million per year and natural calamity are causing food insecurity. In the reality of highly unfavorable land-population balance, Bangladesh should adopt planned urbanization and arrest population growth. Land zoning is essential for protecting arable land and city clusters should be planned as long term measure. R&D and creating awareness should continue on family planning, community living and farming, land use, food production including saline tolerant crops, food distribution and sea food habit. Efforts should be made for exercising decentralization of the administration and prioritizing rural development including creation of jobs, providing utility services, “Agricultural Prices Commission”, Shoshoya Godown Rin Prokalpa.
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