A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labour market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 31st March 2015.
This week in the Bangladesh English Press…
…the Halda River struggles to accommodate competing interests? Farmers face pressure to sell valuable top soil. More information on the challenges foreign workers face in Malaysia. And Bangladesh is moving into a season of good crop yields.
Ecology or Economy?
Tobacco farming is endangering carp fishes along the Halda River in the Chittagong. The river’s ecology is being seriously damaged by increased fertiliser and pesticide usage and other chemical runoff. In the last three years, tobacco farming has gone from being almost non-existent in the region, to becoming a large industry in the Khagrachhari district. For farmers however, it has become a more reasonable source of income. Tobacco sells higher than rice and vegetables, and tobacco companies do much to offer material assistance and buyer certainty.
An editorial that was published later in the week noted that Bangladesh has signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
ecology does not need to be sacrificed for economy, and vice versa.
The agreement convicts the government to make attempts at protecting the environment from tobacco related damage. The editorial argued that the government should take steps to stop the spread of tobacco farming, offering incentives for farmers to choose alternative crops, by using organic fertilisers and by assisting in the reforesting of the river’s hinterland. They make the case that ecology does not need to be sacrificed for economy, and vice versa.
Brick kiln owners have been pressuring local farmers to sell their topsoil, reducing the yearly agricultural output of farms and putting farmers at risk of economic uncertainty. The farmers hope that the government passes laws to protect the integrity of their land because they are reluctant to protest against the economically and politically powerful brick kiln owners.
More on Malaysia
Bangladeshi migrants hurting as Malaysia raises medical costs and living expenses for foreign workers in order to combat slow growth. Many migrants are now working extra hours to be able to send remittances and pay for living expenses, frequently foregoing needed medical treatment or other essential services. Income taxes were also raised, however the minimum wage was not, pushing migrant workers into a more volatile position. These actions were heavily criticised by multiple NGOs as human rights violations.
String Beans Tie Farmers to Prosperity
Bumper yield and good prices for string bean farmers this season due in large part to good weather conditions and a sufficient supply of agro-inputs. Farmers noted that string bean production has risen to the point where they can be self-sufficient on the bean alone.
And that’s all the news from The Daily Star this week.