Agriculture

The people of the Lesser Himalayas are generally agriculturists. Due to the limited and small, uneconomical land holdings, they usually seek employment locally as well as in Islamabad, Abbottabad, Murree, Rawalpindi, Haripur, and Wah. In recent years, the growing trend has been to seek employment in the Gulf States. Since the people of the area are agriculturists, in order to obtain more food grains for their increasing family size, they put more land under cultivation. Local people classify agricultural land into two basic units: (1) kalsi (contains 8 marlas (1 marla=272 sq.ft.)) and (2) Doga (contains more than 8 marlas). For the cultivation of crops the plowing of land for the first time is called "khili patna". People plow the land again the same day if the land is a small area; larger areas are plowed the next day. Then they plow the land a third time before spreading the seeds on the land. They call this plowing rai karna, which means "sowing seeds." If the land is one kanal (1 kanal = 20 marlas (5440 sq. ft)), then plow the land from one side to the other is called ang. Three kilograms of maize seeds and 6-8 kg of wheat seeds are used for one ang. About 8-10 kg of maize and 10-15 kg of wheat seeds are used on one kanal. The plowing of land in hilly areas is mostly done with oxen in pairs. People who do not have oxen hire them for a day or more according to their needs. The cost of hiring oxen per day is 600-700 rupees (Rs). In the plain areas where the land is flatter, land is plowed with a tractor leased at 700 Rs/h. There is a lack of good, cultivable land. The people who live in the hilly areas usually have much land, but the productivity of this land is very low.

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