District Haripur lies between 33°59’ North latitude, and 72° 56’ 1” East longitude covering 1725 square kilometers. Haripur covers an area of predominantly mountainous terrain. It is located in a hilly and plain area at an altitude of 520 m along Karakoram Highway. The area is rich in natural resources and contains two reservoirs, the Tarbela and Khanpur Dams. Geographically, it is the gateway to Hazara and the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Some of the main livelihood sources include agriculture, minor forest produce, remittances from services and employment in local industry. Haripur is blessed with the kind of climate that suits diverse high value crops in various parts of the districts. Eastern parts of the districts are blessed with rich forests and scenic landscapes.
Mr. Muhammad Riaz is one of the Rural Service Providers (RSP) from Hill village in Beer valley who has been affiliated with the agriculture sector for over 30 years. He is a progressive farmer and now an expert on making compost. He prepares the compost pit with the three essential parts: dung (from his livestock), kitchen waste and green leaves, then tops it off with water – crucial for making compost. In cereal crops he grows wheat and maize. Riaz also has an orchard on 2.5 acres land. He grows a number of fruits and vegetables including mangoes, guava, lychee, java plum, loquat, orange, lemon, okra, chillies, tomatoes, cucumber, colocasia, pumpkin, apple gourd, bottle gourd, and egg plant. He prepares compost for his land and has never used any chemical pesticides or insecticides. In case of a pest attack, he sprays a mixture of tobacco and Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) leaves onto the infected plants. He also ensures that any infected fruit or vegetable is properly discarded so spreading of the disease is avoided.
Lesson learnt / Impacts
- The people understand that the natural farming systems are the best way to produce sustainable, tasty, and healthy food
- Community behaviors are changing regarding production and consumption of healthy foods
- People are sensing the benefits of production and consumption of fresh vegetables
- The farmers are enthusiastic to adopt the composting techniques and utilize it for producing quality fruits and vegetables