Production Possibilities in Catchment Areas under Dharabi Dam in Chakwal

Master's Thesis, 2008

84 Pages, Grade: A



List of Tables

List of Annexure




3.1 Survey Schedule
3.2 Calculation of Gross Margins
3.3 Statistical Techniques Used
3.4 Limitation of Study

4.1.1 Village Profile
4.1.2 Nature and location of off farm work
4.1.3 Family labor
4.1.4 Access to institutional support service (Agricultural Extension Service)
4.2.1 Farm assets
4.2.2 Farm machinery
4.2.3 Livestock
4.3.1 Community contribution in planning
4.3.2 Realization of actual plan
4.3.4 The maintenance of Water Supply channels and water courses
4.4.1 Salient features of Farms
4.4.2 Land utilization pattern
4.4.3 Land use Intensity
4.4.4 Soil types
4.4.6 Cropping systems
4.4.7 Cropping intensity
4.4.8 Tenurial status
4.5.1 Cultural Practices
4.5.2 Farm Input
4.6.1 Crop yield
4.6.2 Average Prices Received for crops
4.6.3 Main Marketing Problems
4.6.4 Milk Production, Consumption and Sale
4.7.1 Gross Marginal Analysis
4.7.2 Nature of Farm Assets
4.7.3 Whole farm Budget
4.7.4 Benefit Cost Ratio
4.7.5 Marginal Analysis
4.7.6 Total Household Income
4.7.7 Average off-farm house hold income




List of Tables

1. Water resource developed by the construction of Small Dams in Potohar

2. Number of small dams in different districts

3. Salient features of small dams

4. Categories of farmers

5. Nature of off farm workers

6. Land utilization pattern of sample farms by farm size

7. Percent distribution of land

8. Land use intensity

9. Percent area allocation to different crops

10. Cropping intensity of irrigated and rain fed crops

11. Average number of ploughings and plankings of crop per hectare on sample farms

12. Average quantity of farm yard manure (40 kgs/ha) applied on sample farms

13. Average quantity of chemical fertilizer (kgs/ha) applied on sample farms

14. Average seed rate (kg) of crops on sample farms

15. Average number of irrigations applied to various crops

16. Recommended average numbers of irrigations

17. Water rates for different crops

18. Feeding cost of livestock on sample farms

19. Average yield of major crops on sample farms

20. Average prices (Rs. /40kgs) of various crops

21. Production, consumption and sale of milk (kgs) on sample farms

22. Gross margin of crops at farm level

23. Value of output per unit farm of buffaloes and cows

24. Average annual farm cost per sample farm

25. Cost per Unit animal of irrigated and rain fed farms

26. Whole farm budget

27. Benefit cost ratio of crops (per farm unit)

28. Benefit cost ratio of livestock ( per farm unit)

29. Marginal rate of return

30. Total household income

List of Annexure

1. Cost of input use

2. Yields of Crops

3. Prices of Enterprises (Crops and livestock’s) to calculate Outputs

4. Questionnaire


If oceans turn into ink and all of the wood becomes pens, even then the praises of “Allah Almighty” cannot be expressed. He, who created the universe and knows whatever, is there in it, hidden or evident and who bestowed upon me the intellectual ability and wisdom to search for the secrets. I must bow my head before Allah Almighty who is compassionate and merciful and whose begin help enabled me to complete this job, which marks an important turning point in my life.

Countless salutations be upon the “Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallah-o-Alaih-Wassalam), the city of knowledge who has guided his “Umma” to seek knowledge from cradle to grave.

The words are inadequate to express my deepest sense of appreciation and devotion to my worthy research Supervisor Mr. Arshad Mahmood Malik Assistant Professor, Department of Food Technology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. I am extremely grateful to his scholastic and sympathetic attitude, inspiring guidance, generous assistance, constructive criticism, timely advice and enlightened supervision in the accomplishment of this manuscript.

I wish to extend my thanks to Prof. Dr. Sarfraz Ahmad Mian Chairman, Department of Economics And Agri.Economics, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi and Dr Akhtar Ali, Project Coordinator Watershed Project for their obligation, well wishes and encouragement during the course of my research studies and presentation of this manuscript.

I am very much obliged to members of my supervisory committee Dr Abdul Qayyum, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics And Agri.Economics, Mr. Muhammad Hanif, Assistant Professor, Statistic Department, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi and Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan Senior Director SSD, PARC for their timely help and suggestions during completion of my research.

I am also thankful to Dr.Abdul Saboor, Sir Bashir Ahmad, Madam Saima Asad and Madam Gulnaz Faculty members of Economics and Agri.Economics Department, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi for their constructive, criticism, unfailing help and valuable suggestions throughout my research studies.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Abdul Majeed, Country Representative ICARDA Pakistan for their skilful guidance, encouragement, suggestions and friendly behavior during my research work. Thanks and profound appreciations are also extended to Mr. Khalid and Mr. Zafar,ICARDA employees for their Co-operation and help.

Thanks are due to my colleagues and friends Bilal Mansoor, S Rauf, S.Ashfaq, M Kazmi,Adeel Ahmad, Raja Rehan, Yasir Khurshid, Yasir Habib, Haider Abbas, Muneeb Ahmad, Muhammad Abid, Farhan Hassan, Naveed Ahmad, Obaid ur Rehman, Abdullah for their support in writing and completing my thesis.

Last but not least I pay my cordial thanks to my Parents, brothers, sisters and well wishers for their prayers, moral encouragement and financial support through out my academic career. No words can really express the feeling that I have for my beloved parents. May Allah give them long happy life (Ameen) !

(Muhammad Aamir Khan)

Chapter 1


Notwithstanding its declining share in GDP, agriculture is still the single largest sector, contributing 21 percent to GDP and employing 44 percent of the workforce. Pakistan’s agriculture is classified as an irrigated one. Out of about 23.5 million hectares of its total culturable land, 19.62 million hectares come from irrigated area, giving about 90% of its total agriculture production. Culturable waste is about 8.32 million hectares. Like in other developing countries, poverty in Pakistan is largely a rural phenomenon; therefore, development of agriculture will be a principal vehicle for alleviating rural poverty (GOP, 2008).

There could be two possible approaches to increase the agricultural production viz. either by bringing more area under cultivation or increasing the yield per acre. The first option is almost flexible, however, the yield per acre could be increased. To increase the crop yield, water input is the most limiting factor particularly in the barani areas (Bhutta, 99).

The Punjab province contains about 70%, or 14.8 million hectares of Pakistan’s total cultivated area. Of these 12.6 million hectares are irrigated of which 8.3 million hectares is irrigated through the Indus Basin irrigation system. Decentralized irrigation system in the so-called barani (rainfed) tract of the Punjab province irrigate part of the remainder (International Irrigation Management Institute, 1999).

The 2.2 Million hectare Potohar Plateau has a great potential for agricultural and social development. Total cultivated area of Potohar Plateau is around 1.0 Million hectare. Out of this area the Potohar Plateau with the area of 0.24 million hectare (Mha) falls in the civil districts of Chakwal, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock and federal territory of Islamabad (Bhutta,1999).

A common feature of the rain fed areas is that agriculture is not developed due to low yield, inconsistent and tardy rainfall over a year, losses of rainwater due to swift run off, small size holdings and primitive technology. At the same time, topography of Barani areas having sheer ground slopes, helps the rain water to flow with high velocity to the slant of numerous brooks, thus resulting in erosion of the fertile soils.

In the past, the rain fed areas were considered great peril for agriculture, thus almost all the resources were directed to the progress of the irrigated areas. However, our Barani areas are too big to be ignored as they sustain over 80 % of the country’s livestock population, contribute 12% of Wheat, 53% Barley, 69% of sorghum, 31% of millets, 23% of rape seed/mustard, 65% of gram and 89% of ground nut and 17% of other pulses to the overall national production (Khan,1988).

The three month monsoon and erratic winter rain fall made the crop very uncertain in the Potohar Pleatue.On the other hand the topography of the hilly area with steep ground slopes, helps the rain water to form numerous streams. Due to high velocities, this water erodes the good land. Apart from damaging the land and the erosion of soil the rain water thus does not get a chance to soak down and develop any ground water reservoir. Agriculture in these areas, therefore, depends entirely upon rainfall, which at times is very meager. This cycle of drought is frequently experienced and now witnessed in recent years. Consequently, to conserve the rain run-off for agriculture, the only solution is to build dams, which would also eliminate the hazards caused by delayed rains at the time of sowing and growing when a little delay in rainfall may result into reduction of crop yield to less than half (Small Dam Organization, 2007).

In Potohar, there is capability for both water resource improvement (surface and subsurface) and its management (to improve the efficiency of the offered systems).Water resource development mainly refers to such projects as construction of large or small reservoirs, such as small dams, mini dams and ponds. The collection, storage, maintenance, consumption and management of these sources are of principal importance in these areas. Each millimeter of water collected, stored, conserved and saved in these areas can produce wheat by an average of about 10 kg/ha (Marshal and Holmes, 1988).

To raise the socio-economic formation of the farming society the construction of small and medium size dams was started in 1961 and by 1986 nineteen such dams had been completed encompassing a command area in excess of 17000 acres. Its unfortunate that for most of these soils no proper and detailed research for viability had been conducted which resulted in low percentage of command area development. Later on, under the Umbrella Project 12 dams were competed between 1987 and 1995 covering a command area of 17500 acres and rehabilitation of 9 old dams with command area of 12850 acres.

In case of small dams, the performance of irrigation systems normally remains low, despite major technical development efforts. According to NESPAK, 1991 description only 23% water of these dams was being used for crop production.

The Dharabi dam project is one of such efforts to develop water path by making the dam in Dhrab River, a tributary of Soan River out fall in Indus River at a distance of about 5 kilometers from village Balkasar of tehsil and district Chakwal. Total catchment area of dam site is 147.31Sq.Km (56.88 Square miles). Mean Annual rainfall in the Catchment area is 701.52 mm (28 inch).The proposed project will bring about 6400 Acres of land water under irrigation out of which 6000 Acres through gravity flow and 400 Acres through lift (Small Dam Organization, 2007).

After heavy investment on these small dams, less than one third of the proposed area was irrigated by small dams. Therefore, the desired changes in cropping pattern could not be achieved (Iqbal and Shahid, 1992). Owing to high surface area to volume ratio, these small reservoirs are subject to high evaporation losses. On an average, small reservoirs lose 50% of their impoundments to evaporation in arid and semi-arid areas .The leaching and percolation losses in small reservoirs are about 20% of reservoir volume against 5% in large dams (Keller et al., 2000).

On the other hand these reservoirs positively found that due to the availability of water in these dams contributed to the crop productivity and the crop yield has been increased 36% in case of wheat and 51% in case of maize (Shah, 1984)

Table 1. shows the water resource developed by the construction of small dams. These small dams having a live storage of 214327 Acres and can irrigate more than 62764 acres.

Table 1Water Resource Developed By the Construction of Small Dams In Potohar

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Small Dam Organization, Islamabad. 2007

The research study of the gross margins has been carried out at Dharabi dam. Dharabi dam is located in Tehsil Kalar Kahar District Chakwal.

About 5 to 10 % area of the surrounding villages is irrigated with the small dam water. Most of the farming community (95%) of the surrounding villages has small land holding, therefore, the small farmers would be direct beneficiaries in long and short-term activities of research from this irrigated site.

The Dharabi dam was selected because it was approachable and also keeping in view the significance for agriculture of the area. An applied agricultural component of International centre for Agriculture in Dry Areas (ICARDA) was also initiated research on water use efficiency in the catchment area of the dam. With the collaboration of the ICARDA the study has been conducted. From this study the existing water use for alternative crops and livestock combinations explored. This will help the research component of ICARDA Project to plan specific interventions to address the low water use efficiency issues at this target site. The information from this study would be used in the project villages as well as to other villages where similar circumstances are prevailing, as water requirements for crops are very significant.


Small dams irrigation program

Punjab Small Dams Organization (SDO) was created in 1960 under the irrigation and power department. Small Dams organization was integrated into the West Agricultural Development Corporation (WAPDC) in early 1962. Later on, when the WPADC was dissolved in 1972, SDO became part of the Punjab Department of irrigation and Power. Until 1986, Small Dams Organization had completed 18 small dams in Rawalpindi Division (Iqbal, 1989)

The Government of Punjab had constructed 50 small dams in the potohar regions. Besides supplying water for irrigation, these dams have many indirect effects. They help recharge the ground water, provide water for domestic and municipal purposes, control erosion, control floods in hilly and plain tracts, help to develop fish culture and also provide recreational activities (Iqbal, 1989)

There are fifty (50) small dams constructed in Potohar region. The detail of these small dams is given in Table 2

Table 2 Number of small dams in different districts of Potohar region

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Small Dam Organization, Islamabad. 2007

Salient features of Dharabi dam

Table 3 Silent features of Dharabidam is given in table

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Small Dam Organization, Islamabad. 2007

Culturable Command Area (C.C.A):

The CCA is the area having potential to be utilized or brought under cultivation. The CCA of Dharabi dam is 6400 acres.

Catchment Area:

The catchment area is the overall adjoining area of the dam where from water flows towards the dam. The catchment area of Dharabi dam is 56.88 square miles..

Live Storage:

The live storage capacity is the minimum level of water that can be utilized for irrigation and drinking purposes, in the dam. The live storage capacity of Dharabi Dam is 37000 A Ft.

Thus this study will play a significant role in identifying the Production possibilities of the communities of two villages i.e. Chak khushi and Kalar kahar located in the Dharabi dam command area. It reflects somehow a true picture of farmer’s economic condition in the form of gross margins at enterprise and at a farm level. The coefficients estimated from the study will be used for analysis of different models constructed for farm level under different resource system.

The general objective of the study is to assess the production possibilities in rain fed and irrigated farmers with an emphasis on specific objective of the study will be as follows:

1 To study the gross margins at farm enterprises.
2 To identify different production possibilities of water shed communities of Dharabi dam.
3 To support farmer in decision making among different farm enterprises.

Chapter 2


Khan et al. (1988) evaluated 22 small dams in Punjab and found that average cropping intensity was 110.9% and average land use intensity was 92.3%. He suggested that formal and informal organizations of farmers could play a significant role in the effective utilization of water, proper construction, rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of watercourses.

Government of Pakistan (1991) reported in the Evaluation of Small dams in Punjab and NWFP that crop intensities achieved were very low compared to the targets given. These ranged from 22 to 29 % at dams in Punjab against an average target of 81%.Water supplied from dams was costly than any other source but it definitely had unmeasured social benefits.

NESPAK (1991) reported that the achieved crop intensities will be very low compared to the set targets. These ranged from 22 to 29% at dams in Punjab against an average target of 84%, where as, in NWFP it ranged from 33 to 39% against a target of 81%.

Iqbal and shahid (1992) concluded that less than one third of the proposed area was being irrigated by small dams. Therefore, desired changes in cropping pattern could not be accomplished. They suggested weekly rotational schedule/ wara bandi in which equitable and reliable distribution of water could be made possible. Agriculture extension service was required to motivate farmers to bring about desired changes in cropping pattern and adopt recommended practices.

Bennie et al. (1994) reported that in arid and semi-arid areas, 60 to 85% of the rainfall evapo­rates from the soil surface before making any contribution to production.

Azhar (1995) reported that in Pakistan, farmers were unaware of the irrigation scheduling for their crops. 75% of the farmers apply less water than the crop water requirements, two third of farmers apply first irrigation very late. Farmers were unaware of the consequences of the delayed irrigation. The delays in irrigation negatively affect the wheat yield. A delay in irrigation after 30 days could cause yield reduction of 30Kg/ha per day.

Shahid et al. (1996) reported that the Small Dams Organization has been quite successful in achieving construction related physical targets of the small dam projects. However, follow up activities after dams’ construction have been weak. After dam construction, efforts should be made to bring culturable command area under irrigation, which ultimately could contribute towards better quality of life and living standards of rural community. They considered a slight shift in cropping pattern towards the high value crops including rabi fodder, rabi and kharif vegetables as a positive contribution of small dams project at both newly built and rehabilitated small dams.

Cheema and Bandaragoda (1997) conducted base line survey for farmers organizations of Mirwal and Shahpur dams. The cropping and land use intensities were 123.4 and 63.5 under the ittigated area of Mirwal dam, respectively whereas these were 117.7 and 90 % at Shahpur dam, respectively. Iqbal (1989) reported cropping intensity of 121.3% in the irrigated area of Shahpur dam.

Directorate of Soil Conservation (1997) reported that the barani area always suffered from shortage of water.Under the project 323 mini dams and 693 ponds were constructed and about 9000 acres has been brought under irrigation. These mini dams and ponds were being utilized for irrigation and fish farming. With the development of water resources and through other soil and water activities the farmers were getting an increased income of Rs. 51.00 Million, also the value of the land had been increased.

Bhutta (1999) suggested that to fully exploit the benefits of additional investment made at small dams in the form of improved irrigation network, not only the share of high value crops in the cropping pattern should be improved, but some non-traditional crops may also be introduced.

IIMI (1999) reported that the small dams system offered a precious opportunity for the sincere promotion of reforms in the irrigation sector. They will be independent of the large scale Indus Basin irrigation System and therefore, more easily manageable by smaller units of water users organizations and support service personnel.

Tarar (1999) suggested that changing the water distribution practices from the existing natural co-operation basis to weekly rotational schedule by giving share according to the size of land holdings in which water could be made available to every farmer in the command area according to his weekly turn

Asianics Agro-Dev. International (2000) reported that half of the world’s dams were built exclusively or primarily for irrigation, and an estimated 30 to 40% of the 270 million hectares of irrigated lands worldwide rely on dams. Dams were estimated to contribute to 12-16% of food production.

Botha et al. (2003) concluded that the use of mulch in the basins reduced evaporation significantly, contributing to the increase in yield, by 30 to 50%, compared to production under conven­tional tillage.

Ogbeide et al. (2003) reported that communities that host small dams have risks imposed on them and pay unwarranted and unacceptable costs of the benefits derivable from the small dams.

Mugabe et al. (2003) reported that water resource development and management are concomitant. Without proper management; the water resource developed can be lost without playing a significant role in the crop production and socio-economic development of the area. Proper management requires adequate knowledge of water availability, water requirement and productive water use.

Beukes (2004) reported that irrigated agriculture draws water mainly from dams and water transfer schemes between catchments on which the retention of suf­ficient runoff has been ensured

Renfro (2005) reported that improved soil moisture will open new opportunities for diversifying farming activities in rain-fed areas. Due to the watershed programs cropping intensity will be increased significantly and it is observed that cropping intensity is increased by 13-25%.


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Production Possibilities in Catchment Areas under Dharabi Dam in Chakwal
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi  (UAAR)
MSc (Hons) Agri.Economics
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production, possibilities, catchment, areas, dharabi, chakwal
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Muhammad Aamir Khan (Author), 2008, Production Possibilities in Catchment Areas under Dharabi Dam in Chakwal, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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