Title: The commercialisation of the indigenous economy and its impact on the environment of Modhupur Garh, Bangladesh

Authors: Soma Dey

Addresses: Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka – 1000, Bangladesh

Abstract: The level of destruction of the natural sal (shorea robusta) forest of Modhupur Garh in Bangladesh has pushed the forest-dwelling indigenous Garo community into cash crop production, forcing them to move away from their traditional subsistence economy. Cash crop production started in Modhupur region with pineapple cultivation which, in recent years, has been superceded by Banana monoculture. Environmentalists have identified monoculture cropping as a great threat to the natural environment of Modhupur. Moreover, the excessive use of agrochemicals in commercial plantations of Modhupur has raised serious media concern, and is considered a direct threat to the health status of the producers and consumers. Expansion of the commercial economy has caused landlessness, poverty, gender discrimination among the Garos. People are working hard in plantations, mainly as wage labourers, migrating towards cities in search of petty jobs and thus they are losing their traditional cultural inheritance and economic security.

Keywords: indigenous community; subsistence economy; monoculture cropping; environmental degradation; green economics; environmental impact; Bangladesh; forest destruction; pineapple cultivation; banana monoculture; green economics; agrochemicals; health threats; commercial economy; landlessness; poverty; gender discrimination; cultural inheritance; economic security.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGE.2007.013072

International Journal of Green Economics, 2007 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.465 - 477

Published online: 06 Apr 2007 *

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