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According to the Census of 1998 the population of Beer Union Council is 20081, the detail of population of the villages is given below:
Patwar Circle Village Population
Beer Beer 2240
Kangar Amgah 954
Kakotri Banda Nayan 65
Banda Bakhtawar 95
Banda Mughlan 480
Karan 750 Nullaki 518
Kacchi Chanjiala 1044
Water erosion is the main cause of nutrients depletion in the soil; once lost cannot be brought back economically. The landscape of Beer Union Council reveals mountain ranges, undulating low lying lands with hill torrents coming from the mountain hills which generate flash floods during the monsoon rainy season. The flash floods eat up the soil situated on their sides and take up the nutrients away. The fertility of the soil is lowered and crops yields suffer. Likewise, with excessive rain or irrigation the nutrients are leached down into the subsoil / substrata and become out of reach to the annual crops.
Thank you Mr. Mahmood Elahi, i was just asking Rizwana shaheen and Raja Mudassar Hassan and Syed Aamir Shah to give me current situation in Haripur, Beer valley. You provided very good baseline data here. What do you think has caused the water erosion, why soil fertility is low? what are good agricultural practices still used by farmers in Beer valley?
Greetings and hopefully you all are fine. The reasons for low fertility due to water erosion are many folded:
Forest depletion: The inhabitants of 'Danna' or upper Beer have depleted the forest badly which create flash floods, consequently eroded top soil which is the main sources of crop nutrients, the development of one inch top soil takes 1000 years. The mountains are barren and there are no efforts for re-afforestation in the area. Similar is the case in lower part of Beer or 'Lower Tanawal' area, however some parts of mountains have forest and crop yields are comparatively greater than the upper part.
Primitive methods of cultivation: The farmers use old methods of cultivation totally in upper Beer or 'Danna' due to narrow fields and non-accessibility of machinery / tractors , the people are poor and could not bear the cost for tractor. The farmers of lower Beer or 'Lower Tanawal' use tractors and other accessories on plane fields and use improved seeds.
Slope cultivation: The farmers usually cultivate the slopes in its direction due to least awareness and the furrows created in the direction of slope readily erode the land in subsequent rainfalls and fertility is lost.
Lack of Conservation Measures: No attention is given to the fertile cultivated lands for their protection or rehabilitation and the lands cultivated successively are converted to marginal lands which lose fertility and are cultivated without limitations
There are many other reasons also.
The good agriculture practices which are being used in Lower Part of Beer or Lower Tanawall are:
Cultivation of high yield production crops (vegetables), especially in village Beer and Hill on irrigated lands. A few are using tunnel farming (onion, Tomato, Squash, etc), orchards of mango and citrus on limited scale.
Some Activities practices involved in agriculture have increased the rate of soil erosion considerably.For example When land is tilled, it loosens the packed structure of the soil and initiates the erosion of soil. The exploitation of soil results in removal of humus, which is very fertile for crops.Moreover, the practices involved in agriculture are not environment friendly. Instead of growing the same crops every time, crop-rotation method can be really helpful in preventing erosion of soil. Another very important activity which causes soil erosion is over-grazing by animals. The uniform cover of grass in the plains can prevent soil erosion, which gets uprooted while grazing. At the same time, deforestation is responsible for this large scale erosion of soil. .
The farmers in the Beer Union Council (area) dump up their organic waste on open places, left to the vagaries of weathers and during rainy season the rain leaches the fertility of the compost into the subsoil or substrata as such the fertility of the compost is deteriorated and lost in the form of nitrate, similarly in the open sunlight the nitrogen of the compost evaporates in the form of nitrite gas and nitrogen is lost through evaporation, the loss of nitrogen means loss of fertility, which creates fertility losses and at the end the farmer faces fertility problems which consequently results in low crop production. The situation could be controlled through the adaption of MAAN intervention of compost making.
There are two ways to develop compost sites; one on level or plain areas and the other on mountainous or hilly areas. On the level lands pits of 1-2 feet are dug for desired length and width according to the availability of organic waste and the excavated earth material is placed on the sides of pit. the pit is divided into three sections, two sections are filled with organic waste of animal extraneous waste by developing heaps layers of 10" organic waste and 2-3" of grass and mud alternate layers and third section is left for heaps turnover at the intervals of 2 weeks, 5 weeks and 9 weeks since start and left for further 3 weeks to complete 12 weeks since start and the compost is ready for use
The second way is to develop compost site in hilly or mountain tracts; which includes construction of a front wall of desired length across the slope and side walls (usually 12 ' 6' x5) up to the height of 4-5 feet, according to the availability of organic waste. The bed length is divided into three sections. two sections are filled with heaps and one section is left for heaps turnover at the intervals of 2 weeks, 5 weeks and 9 weeks since start and left for further 3 weeks to complete 12 weeks since start and the compost is ready for use.
Mountain Agro Action Network