Impact of shrimp cultivation on agriculture: A study in Parulia union of Satkhira district

Abstract Transformation of land use pattern from agriculture to massive shrimp cultivation has been taking place in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The present study attempts to find out various impacts associated with shrimp cultivation in Parulia union of Debhata upazila, Satkhira. A three months long field study was carried out in 2014 in twelve villages of the unions under study. The data were collected through a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches: questionnaire surveys, focus groups discussions (FGD), field observation, key informants interview (KII) and secondary materials. The research revealed that shrimp cultivation has direct impact on agriculture in the study location. Though the traditional occupation of people in the area was agriculture (98%, N=102), however, after introduction of commercial shrimp cultivation (approximately 20 to 25 years ago) people in the area are overwhelmingly engaged in shrimp cultivation (86%, N=72). Due to encroachment of agricultural land by shrimp farm present land use strategies in the studied area have also changed drastically. Presently only 42.2 percent of respondents own agriculture land (N=102) whereas about 91.2 percent of respondents (N=102) own gher in the study area. Average agriculture land of respondent households in the area has also been reduced from 3.37 bigha to 1.45 bigha, whilst area and number of ghers of respondent households are increasing. Out of 44.16 km2 of land in the study area 32.66 km2 are under shrimp/bagda cultivation and only 4.19 km2 (Boro cultivation = 3.50 km2 and other crop cultivation = 0.69 km2, Table 8) are now being used for agriculture. With the increase of shrimp cultivation soil salinity is also increasing, as a result most the agriculture land becomes infertile and ultimately crop yields become reduced. Local rice varieties such as Patnai; Durgavogh; Kartikshail; Nagirshail; Chinikanai; Lalgati; Dhungati; Ashfali; Balam; Boran; Jamaibabu etc. are not able to cope with the excessive soil salinity, as a result farmers have to cultivate salinity tolerant high yielding varieties such as Jamaibabu 10; Aftab 1-10; BIRI 28, 30, 41, 47; BINA 7, 8, 10, 22, 28; Minikat; ACI 1, 2; Hira; Akhter 6; Sakti; Sathi; Aloron; Aata 70 etc.

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