Environmental effects due to transformation of cropland into industrial uses: the farmers’ perception of an industry-dominated area in Bangladesh
In recent years, the issue of environmental pollution in the industry sector has been a prime concern. The industrial sector contributes significantly to the economy but also incurs significant environmental costs due to environmental pollution, a reduction of cultivable land and land fertility, etc. Connecting to these concerns, the study aimed to determine farmers’ perception of environmental effects due to the transformation of cropland into industrial uses and to explore the influences of some selected characteristics of farmers upon the perception of environmental effects. Besides, attempts were made to explore the extent and reasons behind the transformation. A total of 113 farmers from 565 farmers of three villages of Kaliakair upazila under Gazipur district in Bangladesh were selected using a simple random sampling method. Data were collected using an interview schedule through personal interviews during July, 2021. Five-point Likert scale was employed to measure farmers’ perception of the issues investigated. Most of the respondents (79.6%) had a highly favorable perception of environmental effects compared to only 6.2% having a moderately unfavorable perception. Regression analysis revealed that three variables, namely ‘extended media contact,’ ‘years of schooling,’ and ‘organizational participation,’ explained 64.5% of the variation in farmers’ perception levels. Almost all the farmers (96.5%) claimed that their land had been transformed at 0.63% annually over the last 15 years. The main reasons for transformation were the lower price of agricultural products, the selling of land due to high prices of the land, and the low productivity of cropland. Therefore, these aspects may be considered when developing policy directives that support both sustainable environmental development and agricultural growth.
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