Food production & employment generation through sustainable surface water management in bangladesh

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Food security and surface water management has become a critical need in Bangladesh because of growing demand of food and water. With vision of enhancing food production and employment generation, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) Bangladesh gets involved at local level surface water management in 1962. As an apex public organization, LGED performs overall planning and management of surface water at local level by confirming people participation.

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With past experience, LGED started participatory Small Scale Water Resources Development Sector Project (SSWRDSP) in 1995 and built about 580 sub-projects where stakeholder’s involvement in decision making process has become an integral part of sustainable development in surface water management.

The purpose of the paper is to explore the potential contributions of sustainable surface water management in socio-economic development through food production and employment generation at the rural level. It reviews relevant external secondary data sources and internal SSWRDSPs which include sub-project based field data obtained for formulation, implementation, and performance evaluation of SSWRDSPs. Primary sources included extensive field visits, household survey and sub-project beneficiary and Water Management Cooperative Association (WMCA) interviews. Transcripts of field visit, field notes, and relevant literature are analyzed on the basis of themes, patterns and data’s of interrelationships among those that addressed the research goal. To ensure true reflection, quantity and quality of data gets highest degree of priority. It is found that well-designed management of surface water resources is vital and essential in ensuring food security and rural employment.

1. Introduction

Peoples in the developing countries are in emergency of essentials—food and water, shelter, energy and health although the scenario is quite opposite in the developed nations where the people are facing the difficulties of affluence (Roome, 2002).To attain the food demands of 2050, food production is needed to increase by 3 times. Historically agricultural production is the most suitable way of food production and only that can provide better diets for the people all over the worlds (Avery, 2002).To meet the controversy on the sustainable way of food production this paper tried to established that the participatory approach in surface water management is the most sustainable way of using surface water to increase agricultural production as well as the food production for the future. Now, sustainable food production as well as food for everyone’s is a global demand.

A rising population of Bangladesh with declining agricultural land has put the country’s future food security at risk, especially when salinity in the coastal belt, and droughts and depleting underground water level in the north have become constant realities (Palma, 2010). According to a projection of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics the country’s population will be 170 million by 2020 (BBS, 2001; Population Council,

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