Thesis on the Role of Homestead Forests in Poverty Alleviation in Rural Bangladesh

Human being depend on forest from “cradle to grave”. Forest gives us both tangible and intangible benefits. Very small issue like “habitatof Dove” or a very big issue like “global worming” is directly related with forest. But we, the human being with our over increasing demand deforesting this valuable recourse very rapidly. Since the beginning of the 20thcentury, population growth has been increasing year by year. The world population is now 6453million (UScensus bureau, 11 July 2005). Unsustainable consumption and production pattern, coupled with rapid population growth, are making their toll on the environment. More people are using more resources with more intensity and leaving a bigger “footprint” on the earth than ever before. A rapidly growing global consumer class is using recourse at an unprecedented rate, with an impact far greater than their numbers. Farmers, ranchers, loggers and developers have cleared about half of the world’s original forests (UNFPA press summary, 2004).
As compared to global situation, Bangladesh stands in a most dangerous position because of its huge population with a very limited natural recourse. The population of Bangladesh was 129 million in 2001 a growth rate of 1.48% (Bangladeshcensus, 2001). Population density is 839 per square kilometer (Bangladesh census 2001), which is one of the in the world. To meet demands of overcrowding people, the country is having tremendous pressure on its nature resource. Although the country is near to self sufficient in food production but other natural resource particularly forests are being depleted very rapidly.

Of the total area of Bangladesh, Agricultural land makes up 65% of its geographic surface, forests lands account for almost 17%,. while urban areas 8% of the area. Water and other land use account for the remaining 10%. The total forestland includes classified and unclassified state lands and homestead forests and tea/rubber gardens.
So, Bangladesh faces manifold problems with limited resources like poverty is a one of the main problem. Time has come to make the best use of them. About 85% of the population live in villages having small homesteads. Homestead plantation is not a new concept, it started with the establishment of houses. Trees grown in the homesteads are very essential from economic and ecological standpoints. But this important resource is declining at an alarming rate. It is, therefore, essential to grow more trees to meet the increasing demands and not only to maintain ecologicalstability but also the alleviate poverty in rural Bangladesh.

1.2 Outline of the monograph

As the major theme of the study is to evaluate the role of homestead forests in poverty alleviation in rural Bangladesh. My study site is selected two villages namely, kazipara and Nowapara in Manikgonj district, between May 2008 to December 2008. One of the reasons behind the purposive selected of these villages is the abundance of homestead forests. However, from the findings, it is evident that homestead forests contribute major items of food, fodder, fuel collection, timber and building materials for rural households in Bangladesh.

Literature review: The literature on homestead forestry, rural poverty in Bangladesh and the role of homestead forests in poverty alleviation in rural area is elaborately reviewed.
Theoretical framework of the study: The theoretical model discussed the would direct the subsequent the whole work. Actually in this section explain the relationship poverty and resources and also the sociological view of poverty.

Methodology: This part begins with the rationale of the study which is followed by objective of the study, inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study subjects. Then it describes study sites and various instruments used in the study.

Results of the study: Important the homestead forests attributes of the respondents are presents, hypotheses test and some case study discussion.
General discussion: The significance of the findings of the study in comparison to findings of the role of homestead forestry in poverty elevation in rural Bangladesh are discussed.
References: Include all literature's cited throughout the dissertation.
Appendix: Include questionnaires, and other instruments of the study.

Important of the study
Rural poverty is one of the major problems of our country. Poverty is pervasive and faces hunger and deprivation. So, we have taken intensive efforts to alleviate ruralpoverty. Our country is agrarian base, its reliance on massive food and the over whelming size of its rural population demand that development efforts must emphasize agricultural and food production. In this village oriented country, the overall development of the villages since majority of its population live in rural areas. Therefore, any development which intends to capture this vast majority of population must be rooted in rural areas. Thus the question of national development and rural development comes together and without rural development national development is quite impossible. Rural development is the most essential component of development strategy in Bangladesh.
It is only possible the alleviate of rural poverty. Social forestry, agro forestry or the active participation by rural people in the planning, implementation and benefit shaving of tree growing programs, is a relatively new approach in Bangladesh. In the country, the participatory tree-growing program is broadly termed as social forestry; Which includes agro forestry, community forestry, homestead forestry etc. At present, social forestry in contributes to poverty reduction in rural areas in many ways. Specially the homestead forests played the major role inn poverty reduction in rural poor. Because the total area of homesteads in Bangladesh is 170,000 hectares. Though this is a small area but it is very productive and has potential for development. Homestead plant production is an age old practice in Bangladesh. Generally, trees we planted to maintain privacy of the house, to keep it cool from solar heat, to increase the aesthetic value and along the boundary as demarcation line. Homestead plant production does not require much labor or attention. It is a product of an house by day or free time attention of the household. But homestead production is an important source of food and income and is, therefore, a means of alleviation of rural poverty.

In this regard I have a little effort to sum up the role of homestead forests to keep the eradicate poverty in rural area in Bangladesh.

1.4 Objectives of the study
I. To identify the contribution of homestead forests in rural economy.
II. To identify the women involvement in homestead plantation activities.
III. To identify the major homestead forests species which are provided fuel, food, fodder, timber and building materials.
IV. To examine the role of homestead forests in meeting the contingency and emergency needs of rural households.
V. To examine the contribution of homestead forests in poverty alleviation.

1.5 Hypotheses
I. Homestead forests rural economy in the content of income & employment.
II. Homestead plantation involves women in income earning activities.
III. The more the homestead forests the more the return in terms of food, fuel, fodder, timber and building materials.
IV. More the support for homestead forests more the changes to get support in terms of contingency and emergency needs.
V. More the return from homestead forests more the changes to alleviate poverty.

1.6 Operational definitions
The concepts and variables used in the research need to be clear, precise and agreed if those are to serve the functions of communication, sensitization of experience, generalizations and theory construction. Two types of definitions are important in social science researches: conceptual and operational. Definitions that describe concepts by using others concepts arc called conceptual definition. But operational definitions provide concepts with empirical reference. "An operational definition is a set of procedures that describe the activities to establish empirically the degree of existence of phenomenon described by a concept". Operational definitions bridge the conceptual theoretical and empirical observational. The concepts used in this study conveying the meaning we specified by operational definition.

Homestead forest
A homestead is a land owned or occupied by a repelling unit of the household along with the adjoining area, including gardens, courtyard, ponds and threshing floor.

Homestead forests is a land-use form on private lands surrounding individual houses with a definite fence, in which several tree species are cultivated together with annual and perennial crops, often with the inclusion of small livestock.

Rural Community
The community where most of the people earn their livelihood from agriculture or where most of the people directly or indirectly related to land for subsistence.

Rural Poor
Village people who own less than half an acre of land or who are nearly landless or own no land or whose assets do not exceed the value of one acre of land and whose monthly income is too little to provide the basic needs of daily life.