«Dissertation Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr) eingereicht an der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen ...»
Integration between agriculture and aquaculture as a way of salvaging some productivity from degraded land has been tested by various soil scientists. As a result of this study, fish farming does not have any positive effect on the soil quality and plays a considerable role in the decreasing of the productivity of land (Hamed 2007: 2). Mostly, the fish farmers did not look after their production units and allowed fish waste, drugs, chemicals, and uneaten food to pass into surrounding water resources. This contamination in the water may cause sedimentation (Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and, hence, the soil becomes less permeable and does not allow water to penetrate deeply, which enhances the problem of waterlogging in the region.
Fish farming is estimated as one of the major reasons of land degradation in the Qadirabad Dam region, while this option has not been observed in the other two regions. The results show that this option of land-use change is approximately fifteen percent responsible as a cause of waterlogging on land. Currently, twenty four percent of households are engaged in this business, and twenty six are interested in it for future land-use change. The data indicate that, with the increase in this change, more land will become degraded.
Figure 7.5: Fish Farms in the Qadirabad Dam Region Source: Own Presentation, Survey 2008 Government acquisition: The construction of major physical infrastructure such as roads and highways is the responsibility of the government in Pakistan, and for this purpose, the constitution allows that the government can acquire land for public use (explained in Chapter 5).
Although these changes are essential for the economic growth of the country, these decisions of land acquisition sometimes cause severe damage to agricultural land. As shown in this study, in regions where the government acquired good agricultural land, soil erosion has resulted, and much good agricultural land has lost its productivity.
For the construction of the motor way from Lahore to Islamabad, a vast area of agricultural land was acquired by the government in the region of Shaikhupura-Kamoki, and the local farmers were forced to leave their land with an inadequate amount of compensation.
Construction of this motor way caused heavy soil erosion in the region, which affected other land and reduced its productivity. According to the estimated results, nine percent of land degradation has been in response to government acquisition in this region.
Similarly, in the Nandipur region, approximately one percent of land degradation is in response to government acquisition, as here the government acquired land for the installation of electricity poles in the region. In the Qadirabad Dam region, this option was a constant, suggesting that the government had not acquired land in this region.
The land acquisition process was not properly implemented in these regions as stated in the law book. Government officials were influential and, without prior notice of land acquisition, sometimes took land for public use; for example, for the installation of an electricity pole in Mustafabad, the government used the land without the consent of the owner, which caused damage to the ground and other parts of the land also became uncultivable (shown in Figure 7.6). For the mental torture and financial loss caused, the landowner took the responsible government department to court in 1998; the first court hearing was delayed to 2005, because of the strong bureaucratic power of the concerned department. In this scenario, only six households were interested in allowing their land to be used for public purposes in all three regions (shown in Table 7.9).
Table 7.9: Households Interested to Opt for ‘Government Acquisition’
Source: Survey 2008 Figure 7.6: Waterlogging Caused by the Installation of an Electricity Pole in the Village Mustafabad Poultry farming: The poultry business is used as an option for land-use change only in the Qadirabad region; in the other two areas, this option was constant and was not possible to estimate for the results. Poultry manure can be used to increase the productivity of the soil, as it contains organic fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The general understanding is that, by using this manure, any deficiency in phosphorus and nitrogen can be recovered.
However, the results of this study do not agree with this hypothesis and show a positive relationship with land degradation. This land use option has a strong positive relationship with the land degradation, as the value of slope is 28.24, and a measure of responsiveness for this variable is 0.04, i.e., four percent of the land degradation occurred through the poultry business. This may have occurred as a result of the soil condition, which is wet because of the waterlogging problem in the area, and in these types of soils, the spreading of nitrogencontaining material forms highly toxic nitrites, and most of the nitrogen is lost because of the water on the surface (Subrahmanyan 2009: 9).
Although this phenomenon has had a bad impact on the environment and is not helpful as a solution for land degradation in the region, it is a profitable business for the landowners. At the time of survey, twelve percent of landowners had decided to shift to this profession and had established poultry farms on their land; four percent were interested in this.
Hotels and marriage halls: This land use is directly related to the construction of building and reduces the vegetation on the land surface. This causes soil erosion and the loss of many minerals from the land; for example, in the region QR, this option has been observed, and the agricultural land in the surroundings has lost its productivity in terms of agricultural output.
The geographical location of the areas influences whether this change is a profitable business. Landowners, who had sold their land for this purpose, had their plots near to the grand trunk road between the two big cities, Gujranwala and Gujrat. About two percent of households were involved directly in this business, and six percent had sold their land for it.
Another six percent of them showed an interest in this business. The estimated results of the study suggest that this option is insignificant and has no major impact on land degradation in the region. In the case of other two regions, this option was constant.
Compressed natural gas and patrol filling stations: Another option of land-use change was observed in these regions, i.e., ‘fuel filling stations’. While estimating the results for this study, and in order to remove the problem of the collinearity among data, this option was deleted in all cases and was not possible to estimate.
These fuel filling stations have underground tanks for the storage of patrol or gas, and these might be responsible for causing contamination by hydrocarbons that might enter the soil beneath the site, with possible toxic effects on the underground water and a reduction in its absorption into the soil. Despite these effects on land, this is an option that increases the return of the landowners, and so in the three areas, some landowners were involved in this business (Table 7.10).
The results of this study regarding land-use change indicate the lack of a sustainable developmental model for these regions, which causes land degradation and reduces the contribution of agricultural output at the local and national level. Land belongs to the private owner, and they are free to take decisions about the use of it.
Figures 7.7 depicts the land-use change response to the land degradation in the ShaikhupuraKamoki region, in which the effect of housing is the worst, and which shows that housing is not a suitable option for land-use change.
The impact of agricultural use is negative on the land, and so this use might be considered as the best use for land. These results show that a good agricultural policy would be helpful for reclamation of the resources and for the restoration the productivity of land.
Degraded land (in percentage)
Figure 7.7: Percentage Response of Land Degradation with Respect to Percentage Change in Land-use Change in SKR Source: Own Presentation, Survey 2008 Similarly, in Figure 7.
8, a comparative analysis of the effect of the different options in the Qadirabad Dam region is presented; here all the variables have a negative impact on land and cause land degradation. Agriculture is established as being the worst option, because landowners are not willing to alter their pattern to that of multiple crops. Fish farming is also a strong reason for land loss. In this case, other alternatives were available for land use, but because of poor management and the lack of suitable policies, all these options increased soil degradation.
Figure 7.8: Percentage Response of Land Degradation with Respect to Percentage Change in Land-use Change in QR Source: Own Presentation, Survey 2008 In Figure 7.
9, only three options are shown as being effective for land degradation in the third case study region. As in SKR, agricultural use has a negative impact on land degradation;
however, if more land was be cultivated with different techniques, it would be beneficial for the landowners, as they could earn more income and improve their livelihoods. All other observed options were not in favor of land productivity and caused erosion.
Figure 7.9: Percentage Response of Land Degradation with Respect to Percentage Change in Land-use Change in NR Source: Own Presentation, Survey 2008 In Figures 7.
10, 7.11, and 7.12, the situation of land degradation because of land-use change is shown in these three regions, respectively. Figure 7.10 depicts that, the land in ShaikhupuraKamoki region (SKR) is mostly used for the agricultural use. Housing and industry are other alternatives of land use in this region. Figure shows that mostly the land, in the areas near the main roads, is used for non-agricultural use, e.g. near Lahore more land is used for housing, while near Gujranwala, a mixed trend is observed.
Similarly, in other Figure 7.11 and 7.12, structure of land use in Qadirabad Dam Region (QR) and Nandipur Region (NR) is explained. From this Figure, it is clear that trend of agricultural use is less in this area. Other alternatives are marriage halls and fish farms. The fish farms are near the canal, and marriage hall are constructed on the Gujranwala Hafizabad Road. Figure 7.12 explains that in Nandipur region (NR) two options are popular, one is agricultural use and other one is industry.
Figure 7.10: Land-use Change and Land Degradation in the Shaikhupura-Kamoki region Figure 7.
10: Land-use Change and Land Degradation in the Shaikhupura-Kamoki Region Source: Own Presentation
Figure 7.12: Land-use Change and Land Degradation in the Nandipur Region Source: Own Presentation 7.
3.3 Conflicts because of Land-use Change From the results presented in Chapter 7, the trend of landowners is clear: some of them are interested in using land by themselves, and others want to sell. This mainly depends on the returns that they will get from their land. Some conflicts are also related to this decision of the landowners. During the study, two major reasons for conflicts have been observed: one involves intergenerational land distribution45, and other involves land-use implications.