Access to land and other natural resources by the rural poor: the case of Bangladesh
Access to land refers to the ability to use land and other natural resources, to control the resources and to transfer the rights to the land and take advantage of other opportunities. Rural poor people depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods, but the majority have limited access to land. This makes agriculture a difficult solution to poverty for people who have few assets and limited alternative ways of making an income. There are compelling reasons for ensuring that rural poor people have secure access to land. It makes possible greater agricultural productivity and food security, economic growth in rural areas, increased family incomes and more-sustainable land use. It also contributes to conflict prevention and helps reduce migration to urban centres. Access to land also empowers rural poor people, strengthens networks that give them a voice and contributes to a more participatory political culture. Access to land and land tenure security are at the heart of all rural societies and agricultural economies. Having land, controlling it and using it are critical dimensions of rural livelihoods, and determine rural wealth and rural poverty. Bangladesh is one of the low-income economies in the world, and poverty is a major challenge in the country. Despite the fact that, over the years, poverty in Bangladesh has been reduced, the extent and depth of poverty remain to be very acute in Bangladesh. In particular, rural poverty remains to be very high. Access to land has often been considered to be a major determinant of poverty in many developing countries. The objective of this research is to conduct a detailed in-depth country assessment and analysis of the land related issues in Bangladesh, addressing poor people's access to land and other natural resources, including common property resources, and tenurial security, particularly that of vulnerable and indigenous groups.
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