International Journal of Environment
(ISSN: 2186-6872 (print). 2186-0009 (online))

Problems and Prospects of Betel Leaf Cultivation in the Teknaf Peninsula of Bangladesh
Md. Abiar Rahman, Masakazu Tani, Kazuo Asahiro, Hiroshi Tsuruta, and SM Asik Ullah
Betel leaf (Piper betel) is widely cultivated as cash crop in the Teknaf peninsula of Bangladesh. Farmers are facing numerous problems in cultivating betel leaf as they do not have much knowledge. A survey was conducted to know the problems and prospects of betel leaf cultivation in the Teknaf peninsula. A total 50 betel leaf farmers were interviewed to collect data. It was found that 64% farmers were cultivating betel leaf in and around the forest area. A large number of farmers (78%) provided primary shade just after planting the cuttings, while cent percent farmers imposed permanent shade. Most of the farmers (70%) opined drought as the major problem in betel leaf cultivation followed by lack of technology and management, disease and insect infestations, insufficient inputs, and labor. Collection of shading materials from forest area for constructing boroj is creating extra pressure on forest resources, which is responsible for degrading the ecosystem and biodiversity. However, farmers were interested in betel leaf cultivation due to high return and availability of shading materials. Some farmers cultivated inter-crops that helped them for consumption and high income. Family members of household were engaged in various activities in betel leaf cultivation. Alternate income generation, shading materials, developing eco-friendly farming, plantation program and community awareness program would be helpful to conserve ecosystem.
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