Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis
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Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis. 2020, 3(1), 8-14
DOI: 10.12691/jaaepa-3-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Household Demography and Food Security of Jhum Farmers in Bandarban District, Bangladesh

Ashrafun Nahar1, 2, Md. Ali Akbar1, Jatish C. Biswas1, Abdul Gafur1, Md. Farid Uddin3, Sonia Rashid1, Md. Abdul Mannan Mollah1, 4, Mong Sanue Marma5, Thwi Mong Marma1, Aung Swiy Shing Marma1, Md. Kamrul Islam3, M.G. Neogi1 and Abdul Hamid1,

1Agrarian Research Foundation, 5/10B, Block A, Lalmatia, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh

2Department of Agribusiness, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur 1706, Bangladesh

3Cotton Development Board, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh

4Kazi Azimuddin College, Joydebpur, Gazipur 1700, Bangladesh

5Hill Cotton Research Station, Balaghata, Bandarban, Bangladesh

Pub. Date: September 27, 2020

Cite this paper:
Ashrafun Nahar, Md. Ali Akbar, Jatish C. Biswas, Abdul Gafur, Md. Farid Uddin, Sonia Rashid, Md. Abdul Mannan Mollah, Mong Sanue Marma, Thwi Mong Marma, Aung Swiy Shing Marma, Md. Kamrul Islam, M.G. Neogi and Abdul Hamid. Household Demography and Food Security of Jhum Farmers in Bandarban District, Bangladesh. Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis. 2020; 3(1):8-14. doi: 10.12691/jaaepa-3-1-2

Abstract

Farmers in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) practice jhum farming raising several crops together with upland rice being dominant. For regenerating soil fertility farmers leave the plot fallow moving to another plot. In recent years shortening of fallow length resulted in declining land productivity impacting negatively on jhum farmers’ food security. This paper mapped out the food security status of jhum farmers conducting a survey of 103 farmers across 23 villages (para) in four subdistricts of Bandarban district. Farms and farmers growing jhum crops were selected. Assessment of farmers’ household demography and level of food security was made conducting questionnaire-based survey and FGDs. Rice yields were estimated harvesting sample plots from the selected farmers’ fields. Majority of the households (83%) had 3-6 members per family and 74% households were headed by male farmers but women take on major responsibility of jhum farming. More than 56% household heads had no formal schooling. Land holding per family varied between 0.486 ha and 6.00 ha and about 54% farmers engaged two labors in jhum operations. The extent of food security in hilly region was measured based on the amount of rice production in relation to their annual demand. Rice grain yields varied greatly between 318 kg and 4,411 kg ha-1 among farmers’ plots across locations. Rice production per household indicated that about 93% farm households suffered from food insecurity to varying degrees. As a coping mechanism, food-insecure farmers met up their food demand scavenging uncultivated forest products collecting vegetables, fruits, roots and bamboo shoots. This study indicates that jhum system can no longer support household food security due to poor yield of rice and thus not sustainable.

Keywords:
household demography jhum farming food security family size land holding rice yield.

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