«Dissertation Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr) eingereicht an der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen ...»
As previously explained, three study regions were selected with the help of published data of the Monthly Statistical Bulletin February 2008 and Soil Fertility Report; the main indicator was the level of degradation of land. According to the study of the Soil Fertility Research Institute Lahore, the upper part of Rechna Doab can be divided into three groups on the basis of land capability classification.
This classification is a method of the general grouping of areas as per characteristics of soil for agriculture production. This classification is as follows: (1) moderate agricultural land with a moderate level of degradation that can be reclaimed, although the cost is high, (2) poor agricultural land with a high level of land degradation that is non-reclaimable, and (3) good agricultural land with a low level of degradation that is easily reclaimable. I selected one region from each classification, the major indicator being area of degraded land. These regions were sub-divided into twenty villages: six villages from the first region (ShaikhpuraKamoke Region- SKR) and seven villages from each of the other two regions (Qadirabad Dam Region- QR and Nandipur Region- NR, respectively).
Figure 4.3: The three Case Study Regions Source: Openstreetmap.
org In Figure 4.3, three large cities are prominent, for example, Lahore, which is the provincial capital and center of trade and commerce in Punjab province; similarly, Sialkot and Gujranwala are major industrial cites and the chances of employment are high in these cities.
Because of these economic reasons, urbanization in these cites is growing very rapidly (Sharazi 2009: 2). This urban migration and population pressure have affected the rural areas in the surroundings, and many interest groups such as builders and industrialists are attracted into these selected study regions for their own non-agricultural interests. The villages were selected on the basis of their distance from the grand trunk road or link roads between main cites, as most villages chosen were near the roads as shown in Figure 4.2 for the analysis of land-use change effect on land degradation. Three main variables were considered for the analysis of land degradation according to my hypotheses: (1) intergenerational land distributional conflicts, (2) conflicts regarding land transfer to the actual landowners, and (3) land-use change conflicts. As previously mentioned, for this study, one hundred and fifty households were visited (fifty in each region), which were selected through stratified random sampling; strata were created on the base of effected land. People with more badly affected land were grouped into one stratum, whereas those with less badly affected land were placed in another group. From each group, one third of the total number of the households, affected with land degradation in the village, were selected randomly.
4.8.1 Case 1: Shaikhupura-Kamoke Region (SKR)
Land capability for this region has some moderate limitations for agricultural production throughout the year or some specific period of time, e.g., during the cultivation of specific crops. Normally, special techniques are required for remedial measures. Soils in this case have moderate to strong sodicity, which occurs because of the periodically high water Table in the region. Collection of alkali (sodium ion) in the root zone reduces the efficiency of the land, and the overall productivity of the land falls. Many reasons are possible for this degradation of land, such as the use of old methods of cultivation, poor management of the irrigation system, and lower availability of groundwater through tube wells because most landowners use groundwater for irrigation (Jhangir et al. 1997: 23), but because of the huge population pressure in large cities, the availability of water for agriculture is reduced (Couton 2009: 90).
The soil fertility report also mentions that these areas are reclaimable, but that the management cost is very high because of the drilling of new tube wells in the regions or the requirements for improvements in the drainage system in the area to avoid seepage. This land can also be treated by applying gypsum onto the affected soil. The calcium remains in the root zone of the plant when gypsum (CaSO4) is dissolved in water and splits into ions; the sodium ion attaches to the sulphate ion, dissolves in the water, and percolates down out of the soil.
As shown in Figure 4.4, this region is a triangle formed by the grand trunk (GT) road and link roads. The GT road links Lahore with Rawalpindi via Gujranwala, the first link road is between Shaikhupura and Gujranwala, and the second one links Shaikhupura to Lahore.
I visited six villages (Sahokimaliyan, Majuchack, Sadoke, Kamoke, Mustafaabad, and Dara Husainwala) in this region, which were selected randomly on the basis of their distance from the main roads from the large cities. In Figure 4.4, the location of these villages is highlighted.
Mainly, these villages are situated on Lahore-Gujranwala GT road and Shekhupura-Lahore Road.
For the analysis of the effect of land-use change conflicts on land degradation, I visited fifty households in this region and tried to explore other reasons of land degradation according to my hypothesis.
Figure 4.4: Shaikhupura-Kamoke Region Source: Openstreetmap.
org 4.8.2 Case 2: Qadirabad Dam Region (QR) According to the land classification, this region is categorized as having both irrigated and dry farming conditions, with the soil having severe limitations for agriculture production and a narrow range for farming use. The cost for development and maintenance of these areas is very high and is technically high for high-level production with high-yielding crops and a large investment for irrigation. Thus, most of the land in this region is not cultivated for crop production. Dam seepage is one of the main reasons of land degradation in the region. With all these limitations for crop production, this area can be used for other types of farming, such as fish farming or dairy farming, and so in the report of soil fertility, areas like this are called poor (marginal) agricultural land. Eucalyptus plantations have been found to be very effective in some of the areas where the water Table is comparatively low and can be controlled. This land is used for the cultivation of wheat or fodder or low quality rice under tube well irrigation.
Figure 4.5 shows the location of the villages and indicates that a branch canal of the Upper Chanab Canal named the Lower Bari Canal passes very close to this region.
This region is connected to Gujranwala and Gujrat (another large industrial city famous for its electricity industry) through with Lahore-Rawalpindi GT road and the Gujranwala bypass, and on the other side, the famous district Hafizabad, which is rich in rice cultivation, is also connected through a link road; all visited villages were near these main roads. Seven villages were visited in this case (Alipurchattah, Chanawa, Jamkaychattah, Jandyala, Siraanwali, Ademkeychattah, and Qadar-a-bad). Four of them were near the GT road, and the remaining three were near the Gujranwala bypass. Cultivated areas were found close to the city of Gujranwala. For the exploration of the problem, fifty households were visited, as in the previous case, and data was collected for the study.
Figure 4.5: Qadirabad Dam Region Source: Openstreetmap.
org 4.8.3 Case 3: Nandipur Region (NR) Soils in this class have minor limitations for crop production as remedial measures are easy to apply and can be managed with less effort as compared with the class of “moderate agricultural land”. These areas can be affected by water logging in the rainy season because of poor management of the irrigation system. However, this problem is not permanent, and some extra care and attention in the preparation of seedbeds can resolve it, the only requirement being to train the local farmer in the proper management of his land. In this way, prime agricultural land for crop production can be saved. The land can become highly productive, and according to the soil fertility survey, this is good agricultural land with minor limitations for crop productions throughout the year, having the widest range of agricultural use with little heavy irrigation of good quality of water.
As in the previous two cases, this region is also situated between two large cities, Sialkot and Gujranwala (Figure 4.6), and as previously explained, these two cities are economically very important. This is the reason that the population burden in the soundings in very high.
Geographically, this area is very important for the development of industries and for city expansion. I visited seven villages in this area (Nowkay, Dansarpai, Mahrwala, Banglay, Wandalay, Tharwali, and Nundipur Chack), near the Gujranwala-Sialkot road via Pasrur, as shown in Figure 4.5, and for my study, I also visited fifty households in this region.
Figure 4.6: Nandipur Region Source: Openstreetmap.
4.9 Comparative descriptive case study analysis In the following, the study regions will be indicated by the acronyms SKR (ShaikhupuraKamoke Region), QR (Qadirabad Dam Region), and NR (Nandipur Region). Figure 4.7 shows that, in the case of SKR, the land is moderately degraded, and the survey results show that some of this area has been reclaimed by the landowners. For this purpose, they have used gypsum21 on their land as recommended by Jhangir and Ali (1997: 76) for the solution of the land degradation by sodicity. As shown in Figure 4.3, the case of QR is situated very near to the Lower Bari canal, and because of this, the soil is rich in moisture, According to the soil fertility survey, it is hard to reclaim and is poor agricultural land. Survey data also show the same situation in the area depicted in Figure 4.6. For the third case NR, the soil fertility report says that this is highly productive area and quite good for agricultural production with less land degradation (see Figure 4.6).
Figure 4.7: Area of Degraded Land in Three Selected Regions Source: Own survey 2008 Gypsum is used to rectify the deposits of sodium causing sodicity in land.
As mentioned in the literature, these three regions are not properly utilized for crop production. The soil fertility report mentions that Shaikhupura-Kamoke Region (SKR) can be used for general cropping under amended tube well water but gives moderate yields under traditional management. Nevertheless, with modern management, this land is capable of producing good yields for most of the crops. In the case of Qadirabad Dam Region (QR), modern management techniques and irrigation structure are helpful in the production of selected high-yielding crops of wheat and rice. In the case of Nandipur Region (NR), even under traditional management, a small amount of extra irrigation to leach the salts can give better results, and the land can produce very good yields of crops throughout the year. These situations have been observed by the researcher during the survey results reported in Table 4.6, although the production level is gradually becoming less than that of previous years, although the farmers were still trying to produce rice and wheat alternatively in these regions, as the Kharif22 and the Rabi23 crops.
Source: Own Survey 2008 A fall in production has mainly been reported because of the scarcity of water, industrially polluted ground water, and conflicts related to land distribution among heirs and land use.
Landowners have reported various reasons for land degradation on the basis of the unequal intergenerational distribution of land, e.g., a person installed a tube well on his land and, at the time of the distribution of the land after his death, a powerful heir took that part of land and The term Kharif means autumn, and in Pakistan, the season for this crop usually starts from the first rain of monsoon in July.