ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
2227-202X (Online)
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Cooperative Based Rural Development in Bangladesh: A Revisiting
Md. Shafiul Islam

Bangladesh is overwhelmingly rural and agrarian society. Hence like other developing countries of the Third World, rural development in Bangladesh is a key to the overall socioeconomic development of the country. The region that comprises Bangladesh has a long tradition of experiments with many approaches in rural development. To a large extent, the rural development programme of the present day Bangladesh is a legacy of the past efforts. The quantitative performances of rural development may appear impressive, but in qualitative analysis, there is every likelihood that the realities unfolded may present a gloomy picture. Although there have been changes in some sectors such as health and poverty reduction, the same picture continues to date. However, the paradigm of rural development in Bangladesh is being shifted from one stage to another as per demand of the time. Once it is considered that agricultural development means the rural development. Consequently, the successive government allocated more funds and subsidies for agricultural development. Later in 1980’s, the rural development turns into integrated oriented efforts. Replicating Comilla model, integrated rural development programme (IRDP) has been spread out the country for rapid rural development, considering the socio-economic features of our country. But it brings little impact in terms of qualitative changes in rural development areas. Still, about 116.58 million people out of 160 million people live in rural areas, which is 73 percent and 65 percent people directly depend on agriculture. Numbers of rural people in extreme poverty in South Asia are 503 million, corresponding to 80.7 percent and it is in Bangladesh 49.6 percent. However, this paper revisits the cooperative based rural development efforts in Bangladesh.

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