In district Haripur, land is used for four major purpose i.e. agriculture, construction of buildings, grazing / grass and forest. Agriculture is a main source of income for a major portion of the populace. Farming is the common occupation of the people living in the rural areas.
Types of Land and Irrigation
In District Haripur, more area is covered with forests and rangelands (39% of the total land) and comparatively has a small amount of agriculture land i.e. 169,019.82 acre (37% of the total reported area). Meanly 97% (165,066 acre) of the total cultivated land is sown and currently there is a fallow of 3,954 acre (3% of the total cultivated land) mostly due to non availability of irrigation water and droughts. Besides, there is a considerable amount of cultivable wastes i.e. 33,890.45 acre (7% of the total reported area) that may be brought under cultivation, if irrigation water available and lands protected from erosion/sliding.
Most of the agriculture lands in hilly areas and a big portion in the plains above Daur, Haro and Siran rivers are un-irrigated. About 36% (61430.30 acre) of the total cultivated land is irrigated through different sources i.e. 60.5 % from private canals, 22% from government canals, 9% from Tube wells, 8% from tanks and 0.5% from wells. River daur, Khanpur dam, Buthri dam, Rangela channel, Shandra Mirza canal system, Kalhat, Punjkhata canal, Ichar canal and Changi Bandi channel are the major natural and man mad sources of irrigation in the district. Almost all the farmers have an access to the use of available irrigation water and they use it by turn outlined by the committees or department. (Sources: Crops Reporting Services, Haripur and Primary data from local communities)
Land Holding and Tenure
Most of the farmers are small land holders and so self operators. Per HH cultivated land is 1.15 acre. About 15% HHs have no land and earn their subsistence from daily wages. 30% HHs just have houses and 0.25 – 0.5 acre land. They have grains from their own land just to suffice for a month or two. They do on and off farm labor to support their HH economy. 55% HHs have 5-15 acre land including range lands and forests. They have sufficient grains for their own use. While some members of the HHs do government and private services and labor abroad to meet other non food needs. About 10% HHs have more than 25 acre land including range lands and forests. They sell surplus grains and vegetables/cash crops within the district and outside.
About 75% farmers are self operators, while 25% mostly in plain areas do it through tenants. Major patterns of tenancy are ‘Equal Share’ and ‘One Third’. In Equal Share, owner affords whole cost of seed and 50% cost of fertilizer, while tenant afford 50% cost of fertilizer, provides manure and does all kind of labor. Food produce is divided equally while residue i.e. maize stalk and wheat straw etc is retained by the tenant. In One Third, the owner affords whole cost, while the tenant provides manure and does labor. 25% production is given to the tenant while he/she also retains all kinds of fodder but in a few cases, if the owner also has livestock and provides manure to the fields, the fodder is also divided with a pre decided proportion. Sometimes Tenants mange livestock for the owners as well.
(Sources: Crops Reporting Services, Haripur and Primary data from local communities)
Practices and Access to Technology / Services
Although farmers use available technology, traditional methods of farming still dominate in the district. Farmers mostly use tractor, except some remote hilly areas with narrow terraces, for plough and thrasher/Sheller for wheat / maize thrashing and motorized machine for rice husking. In plain areas, farmers have more access to extension services and improved seed / quality fertilizer and agrochemical, while in remote hilly areas they use traditional seed. Over use of agrochemicals is a common practice in the district. Yet in plain areas, all the farmers don’t get improved seed due to non limited availability. Where there is irrigation water, farmers give moisture to the fields before sowing and prepare land well. But in rain fed areas, it totally depends on rain and farmers could little prepare land for sowing. In un-irrigated areas, farmers are shifting from crops needing more water to the crops that don’t need much water. Through Ashar system, farmers help one another in times of cultivation and harvesting.
The whole district is dual crop zone. Mostly cereal crops maize and wheat is grown throughout the district. A great variety of cash crops and vegetable is also grown in the areas where there is irrigation. As most of the products are consumed locally, yet some vegetables and cash crops i.e. tobacco and sugar cane and fruits i.e. citrus and loquat are also exported to other parts of the country. There is a Research Farm, a Seed Production Farm, a Soil Testing Laboratory, a Horticulture Center and Agriculture Extension Department with regional offices in the district. The agriculture farm on the bank of river Daur has an area of 65 acre. Nursery of different improved fruit species i.e. plum, peach, apricot, guava, loquat, citrus, mulberry and litchi are grown in the farm to provide farmers with plants within the district. Through demo plots in the farm, modern profitable practices of farming are extended to the farmers and they are provided with seeds of different crops and vegetable with subsidized rates. Though agriculture extension is providing services in the plain areas mostly nearer to Haripur city, in peripheral areas farmers have little access to these services. (Sources: Agriculture Extension department & Primary data)
Throughout Haripur, farmers grow cereal crops i.e. maize, wheat and barley, pulses and beans i.e. gram, masoor, matter, beans and mong other cash crops i.e. tobacco, sugar cane, turmeric and ground nut, and oil seed i.e. sunflower and mustard as per required habitat and needed irrigation.
Besides, they also grow various kinds of off-season vegetables i.e. peas, cucumber, squash, tomato and bitter gourd etc and regular season vegetables i.e. onion, garlic, cauliflower, tomato, tinda / squash, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, bottles gourd, potato, spinach and green chili where ever there is irrigation water mostly in rural areas. Some crops like maize and clover etc are grown for fodder while there is a variety of orchards of citrus, guava, loquat, litchi, mango, peach, plum, pear, lemon and apricot etc. Current mean cultivated area, production and trend of the major crops, vegetables, orchards and fodder is reflected in the following tables;