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Friday, February 27, 2015, Falgun 15, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 7, 1436 Hijr

Landlessness behind poverty among indigenous people: Study
Published : Friday, 27 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 5

Landlessness is the main reason behind the widespread poverty among indigenous people, according to a new study reveled at a seminar here on Thursday.
It shows that landlessness among the indigenous households is 79 percent compared to the national rural landlessness of about 55 percent.
Three-fourth of indigenous communities host more landless households compared to the mainstream households (68 percent), the study reveals.
Oxfam Bangladesh and Human Development Research Centre (HDRC) in collaboration with the European Union organised the disseminating seminar on 'Identity Based Discrimination and Economic Disparity between the Mainstream and Indigenous Communities: An Exploratory Research in northern districts of Bangladesh' at Spectra Convention Centre in the capital.
Delivering his power-point presentation, research team leader and eminent economist Prof Abul Barkat said the indigenous people have been losing their lands for years. Though in limited extent, they are losing their lands even these days.
He said continuous land loss turns most of them absolute landless while very few households have functional landholding. "Due to poor income, most of them cannot buy land. Many of them cannot take land on lease for lack of operating capital for farm production."
Prof Barkat said lack of access to land through both sales and rental market let the indigenous people out of the process of reaping benefits from commercial agriculture.
"Land is life, not mere livelihood, for the indigenous people. In order to understand politico-economic essence of 'development, underdevelopment, undevelopment and unjust development' of indigenous people, it's essential to delve deeper into major causes and mechanism of the land dispossession and associated alienation of indigenous people," he said.
The economist said the government always shows 'un-peopling attitude' to the indigenous people. "Nobody talks about the indigenous people's ownership to land where all talk about their access to land."    ?UNB

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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