Land Zoning: Concept and its Urgency in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a least developed South Asian country and its economy is based on agriculture. Among the natural resources, land and soil are the key resource for agriculture. We have to ensure its proper utilization for ensuring food security without decreasing its extent and quality.
In Bangladesh the natural resources especially the land resources of an area is used for multiple purposes, which have strong influences on the socio-economic development of the area. Due to huge population pressure land resources are under continuous human and natural interventions so its land use is naturally diverse and complex. The land resources of an area is intensively used for agriculture, settlements, forests, water bodies and fisheries, salt production, industries and infrastructural development, tourism, preservation and management of environmentally important and special areas.
Land and soil resources are vital and limiting resource for agriculture. The encroachment on agricultural land is a pressing problem in the rapidly growing areas of our country. Cultivable land has reduced from 9.72 million hectare (1991) to 8.52 hectares (2011). This is alarming for an over populated country like Bangladesh. Food security of the country would be threatened if land and soil resources are degraded and cultivated area is reduced at present rate. To arrest negative balance land zoning is a must for sustainable agricultural development of the country.
Secondary data were obtained from publications of Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) and Department of Land Records (DLR). They provided spatial information pertinent to land zoning in Kaliganj Upazila. All maps were constructed in ARC/Info and exported into shape file formats compatible with ArcView 3.2. All themes were projected in the LCC having a scale of 1 : 50,000. Current land use data were collected by field survey which provided an opportunity to develop a working relationship with land use, topography and landscape characteristics.
The ultimate output of this study was a map showing the distributions of the various land zones. The Kaliganj Upazila comprises of about 21,316 ha land surface. Agriculture zone, Forest zone and Aquaculture zone accounts for 5,247 ha, 8,760 ha and 5,871 ha respectively. About 858 ha area accounts for Commercial and Residential Zone and about 583 ha for Water bodies including rivers. The proposed urban zone accounts for 715 ha.

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