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Farming in Mountainous Regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

During the year 2012, research was undertaken at the Institute of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, to investigate farmers’ understanding of crop production technologies for key crops (wheat, maize and rice) in the mountainous region of Battagram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Crop area distribution and livestock asset distribution were also evaluated.

Landholding or farm size capacity is very low in those areas, with around 56.7% of respondents having less than one acre of cultivable land. The majority of responders (73.3%) plant wheat in December as it results in a good income for them. As a result, production was poor, with 64.2% of growers harvesting less than 1 pound per kanal.

The data also revealed that, like other main crops, maize and rice were not seeded at the proper period, resulting in poor average yield.

60% of respondents had a maize output of two maunds per kanal and a rice yield of three to four maunds per kanal.

The majority of respondents (78%) consumed wheat, and 40%-50% consumed maize and rice at home, while some sold their harvests for profit.

The findings also revealed that the majority of farmers were still using traditional agricultural practices. Respondents had one or two animals to meet their home requirements. Therefore, larger-scale livestock production was not popular.

The research shows several important factors:

  • Modern technologies need to be implemented in Northern Areas
  • Lands should be redistributed if possible so farmers can grow on larger lands
  • Specialized crops should be promoted so farmers may get more profit