Changes in Livelihood Status of Farmers due to Meghna-Dhonagoda Irrigation Project Activities
The main focus of the paper was to determine the change in livelihood status of the beneficiaries after implementation of Meghna-Dhonagoda Irrigation Project (MDIP). The study was conducted in MDIP area of Matlab North Upazila under Chandpur district. Out of 308, one hundred and eight beneficiaries were randomly selected which constituted the sample. Data were collected during 10 February to 20 March 2004 using interview schedule. Overall changes in livelihood status has been evaluated into four dimension namely, changes in occupational pattern; changes in communication pattern; changes in time utilization; and change in daily working schedule of the respondents. The main occupation as crop cultivation, fishing, poultry rearing, milking cow rearing, ferrying by boat etc. have been changed due to intervention of the irrigation project. Similarly, farmers’ other occupation also changed to substantial extent. The number of main occupation and other occupations also increased after implementation of the project. The findings reveal that the communication facilities in case of bicycle, rickshaw, rickshaw van, motorcycle, baby taxi, microbus and ferry increased by 19.45, 62.04, 17.59, 11.11, 43.52, 2.78 and 32.4 percents, respectively, while the habit of walking by foot and boat decreased by 51.85 and 100 percent, respectively. The busyness in all the year round and nine months in a year increased by 46.29 and 9.26 percent, respectively. On the other hand busyness in 6 months in a year and 3 months in a year decreased by 43.52 and 12.04 percents respectively due to intervention of the MDIP. In case of change in time utilization, the findings reveal that the pattern of time utilization remarkably changed among men after implementation of MDIP. Daily working schedule of both male and female farmer also positively changed due to increase income generating activities. In all, the findings clearly demonstrated that the overall socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries considerably improved due to the interventions of the MDIP in the area.