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PROFILE

SYED IZHAR HUSSAIN JAFFERY

COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
ENVIRONMENT LAND RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY
SOCIETY TACKLING UNEMPLOYMENT

 

LAND RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY

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Every part of country is important for the population and growth of agriculture


By Dr. S.M. ALAM NIA,
Tandojam

Jan 19 - 25, 2003
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Pakistan comprises bio-physically, socio-economically and culturally of highly diversified geographical regions. A great change has been occurring in the declining trend of economy of the country due to maladministration, corruption, unsustainable development, mismanagement in planning, lack of responsibility and accountability.

On the basis of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, Pakistan has been grouped into seven different land zones from agricultural point of view. These are (i) Northern mountain, (ii) Barani lands, (iii) Irrigated plains, (iv) Sandy deserts, (v) Sulaiman plains, (vi) Western dry mountains and (vii) Coastal areas.

There are changes in land resource regions due to loss of biological and economic productivity and complexity of rain-fed cropland, irrigated cropland range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses arising from human activities and habitation pattern. The brief description of the distribution of the land resource regions are given below:

Northern mountains: The Northern mountains region stretch over Malakand and Hazara Divisions of NWFP. Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), Northern Areas of Murree Kahuta Tehsils of Rawalpindi district and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It lies between latitude of 34 and 37 N and longitude 70 and 76 E. The other features are as extent to 5115340 sq. kilometers, altitude. 1000-8600 meters, comprised of 5 districts i.e. Gilgit, Sharku, Diamer, Ghizer, Ghanche, population 8.0 million, climate, arid to humid sub-tropical, linguistic groups Balti, Hindko, Pushto, Kohistani, Chitrali, Shina, Gojri Wakli, Khowar, Literary 25%, etc. economic indicators-forestry, watersheds, fruits, wildlife, tourism, wildlife marcopolo sheep, markhor, snow leopard, barking deer, musk deer, etc.

Barani lands: The barani lands (rainfed areas), stretch over Rawalpindi Division, the northern parts of Sialkot and Gujrat districts, Islamabad and parts of Kohat Division, and these lie between latitudes 31 and 33 N and longitudes 71.5 and 75 E. Other features of these areas are:

(i) extent to 51600 sq. kilometers, (ii) altitude 250-900 meters, (iii) population 12 million, (iv) climate semi-arid to sub-humid, sub-tropical, monsoonal (v) linguistic groups-Potwari, Sirraiki (vi) soil-deep salty loam, locally clayey and sandy, (vii) economic indicators-livestock production and dry land crops, (viii) wildlife-urial, chinkara, chukar and partridge. Some rain-fed crops such as wheat, maize, etc. are grown in these areas.

 

 

Irrigated Plains: The region covers the Indus plain, which commanded by the world's biggest irrigation network and serves as the food and fibre basket for the whole of Pakistan. It includes the Punjab irrigated plains, Sindh irrigated plains and Peshawar-Mardan valleys in NWFP. It lies between latitudes 24 and 34 N and longitudes between 67 and 74 E. This area is very fertile and about 90 per cent of edible crops, fruits, fodders, legumes, vegetable crops, etc. are grown in these irrigated plains. Some of other features of the areas are (i) extent to 165320 square kilometers, (ii) altitude-25-250 meters, (iii) population-100 million, (iv) climate-hyper arid to semiarid and sub-tropical, (iv) linguistic groups-Punjabi, Sindhi, Siraiki and Urdu, (v) soils-deep loamy through clayey, (vi) economic indicator country's food and fibre basket, agro-industrial liasion, (vii) Plant indicators, Salvadora, Prosopis, Acacia and Dalbergia.

SANDY DESERTS: The sandy deserts cover a great part of the area of Pakistan. The popular desert zones are Thar in Sindh, Thal and Cholistan in Punjab and Chagai-Kharan in Balochistan are the main sandy deserts in Pakistan. The Thar desert is located between 24 and 28 N and longitude 68 and 71E. It includes eastern parts of Tharparkar, Sanghar, Nawabshah, Khairpur and Sukkur districts and covers about areas of 2.65 million ha. The Thal desert spreads over an area of 2.6 mha in Mianwali, Bhakkar, Leiah, Jhang, Khushab and Muzaffargarh, the Cholistan covers an area of 2.6 million ha. Similarly, the Chagai-Kharan covers an area of 23,000 km2 in Balochistan, stretching over Chagai and Kharan districts in Balochistan. The total areas are extended upto 13,27000 square kilometers, 50-1000 meters in altitude, with a population of 6.00 million. The climate is hyper arid to semiarid, sub-tropical and sub-temperate. The soils are very sandy, locally loamy and clayey in nature. The Prosopis, cineraria, and lamarix aphylla are very common. Livestock production and firewood are very common feature of the areas. People generally speak Cholistani, Siraiki, Sindhi and Brahvi. Some of the wildlife common is black buck, chinkara, bustards and partridges.

SALAIMAN PIEDMONT: Salaiman Koh region comprises D.G. Khan, D.I. Khan, Kachhi and Sibi plains. Sulaiman mountain range extends from north to south. It lies between 29 and 32 N and longitude 67 and 71 E. Thus, the total area of this region is 41690 square kilometers with altitude of 250-2500 meters. The population is about 6.00 million with arid to semiarid climate. Soils are deep loamy and clayey. The main economic indicators are livestock production, date palm and subsistence cropping. The indicator plants are prosopis cineraria, tamarix aphylla and wildlife are chinkera, bustards and grouses.

 

 

Western dry mountains: This region makes the core of the arid land and covers by far the major part of the upland Balochistan excepting a narrow coastal belt along the Arabian Sea. It also includes part of Kohat and Bannu districts of NWFP and tribal areas of Kurram, Waziristan, BANNU AND KOHAT. The region lies between latitude 25.35 and 34.34 N and longitudes 62.15 and 71.15 E. Some of the salient features of the areas are: extended to 333800 kilometers, altitude, 1000-2500 m, population 14.8 million, climate semi-arid valley deep loamy and deep gravelly loam. Economic indicators are livestock production, horticulture and mineral and gas. Plant indicators juniper, Tamarix, wildlife, markhor, partridges, houbara and bustard.

COASTAL AREAS: The coastal areas comprise southern part of Makran division in Balochistan and southern part of Karachi, Thatta and Badin districts in Sindh. The region makes 40-60 km wide and about 100 km long belt along the Arabian Sea. It lies between 23.45 and 25.30 N and longitude 61.45 and 60.15 E. A general feature of area is as: the area is extended upto 38750 square kilometers, with altitude of 0-1000 m. The population comprises of 16 million. Climate of the area is tropical and maritime. Economic indicators are marine fisheries, ship breaking, date palm, coconut palm, livestock production, mangroves, tourism, ports and salt extraction. The plants available are prosopis, cineria, acacia, jacquemontli, Senegal, mangroves. The animals available are chinkara, urial, waterfowls, crocodiles and green turtle. The common languages of the people are Balochi and Sindhi. The coastal area is famous for its fishing and a substantial amount of these are exported to foreign countries.

From the above discussion, it seems to be cleared that every part of the country has its own geographical features, which is equally important for population of the country and for growth of agricultural crops.