Rural Settlement Expansion and its Effect on Food Security in Salanpur, West Bengal, India
The settlement may be viewed as the manifestation of delicate human-nature interaction and cultural impression of humanity in the landscape system. With the progress of civilisation, the perception of use of natural resources and cultural development become ever-changing phenomena that causes the changes in the rural settlement all over the world. Salanpur C.D. Block of Paschim Bardhhaman district has registered an unusual settlement arrangement and spatio-temporal changes. Using satellite imageries and competent GIS technologies it is observed that an unplanned growth of rural settlement has developed in this part of West Bengal. This paper examines the spatio-temporal dynamics of the rural settlement over ten years (2008-2018), employing PR index, and SI index. In doing so, it, analyses the dynamic change of rural settlement at Gram Panchayat Level and its relation with overall land-use in the study area. This paper also envisages how the rural settlement expansion affects the various dimension of food security in Salanpur C. D. Block.
Along with this, the Spearman Rank-order Correlation Coefficient (rho=p) is also applied to comprehend the effect of the rural settlement expansion on regional food security. Growth of rural settlement towards productive agricultural land, unequal access to food, insufficiency in clean water, sanitation, and health care facility are also indicators of increasing threat to the long run food security of the people in the study area. The result shows a positive correlation between the rural settlement expansion index (SI) and food insecurity Index (FISI), it indicating that if the rural settlements expand, it would enhance the risk of food insecurity of the area. Development and growth are the buzz of the modern era, but the dark side of it is that destruction of agricultural lands would be ultimately responsible for food insecurity and uneven economic growth. The findings suggest that lopsided and unplanned growth of settlements is pose threats on food security of the study area. Therefore, sound planning is required to come out of these potential threats for the sake of the inhabitants.