Impact of betel leaf cultivation on forests

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Abstract

The betel is a major cash crop on the Teknaf Peninsula. The cultivation of betel plants affects forests in two ways. The construction of "pan boroj " a facility to provide the plants with shading, consumes a large amount of forest resources every year. Another way of betel cultivation's influence on forests is tree clearance in cultivation plots. Pan boroj tend to be constructed on gentle slopes where forests originally existed because more productive and limited flatlands are used for other crops such as rice. Trees are cleared to make room for a pan boroj, and as long as betel is cultivated, trees will not regrow at that spot. This study conducted village household surveys to record all pan boroj in a village and to quantitatively assess the impact of betel cultivation on the nearby forests. An estimate of forest resource use is equivalent to approximately 5% of biomass annually generated in the village area. Cultivation plots of betel plans also account for another 5% of the area. Despite the negative impacts of betel cultivation on forests, this study also finds the economic importance of betel cultivation in the village economy, and estimates that betel cultivation may compensate the lack of sufficient livelihood generated by rice cultivation in limited flat land.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeforestation in the Teknaf Peninsula of Bangladesh
Subtitle of host publicationA Study of Political Ecology
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Pages43-56
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789811054754
ISBN (Print)9789811054747
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Tani, M. (2017). Impact of betel leaf cultivation on forests. In Deforestation in the Teknaf Peninsula of Bangladesh: A Study of Political Ecology (pp. 43-56). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5475-4_3