Documents of ADATS - Book 6

Peter Laban's Report on DLDP

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Some general observations on geology and topography will be made later.

The landscape in the areas visited can be described by 2 Land Systems:

  • An intricate pattern of small valleys/watersheds surrounded by irregularly shaped hills with rather steep and very stony slopes; crest lands are dominated by rocks and big boulders.
  • Larger watersheds where the topography is more gentle with large tracts of sloping lands with mainly shallow soils.
  • On the basis of observations during this short field visit Land System A seems to be dominant.

In these Land Systems generally 4 Land Types may be distinguished:

  • valley bottom lands around tanks: these lands are all irrigated and have at least 2 crops a year;
  • gently sloping lower slopes with relatively deep soils and dry land agriculture. This Land Type does not seem to be very common in Land System B
  • steeper higher slopes on shallow and stony soils and isolated outcrops of rocks and boulders; these lands are basically wastelands where only a very extensive and marginal dry land agriculture can be practised (broadcasting of seeds)
  • very rocky crest lands with big boulders: grazing lands, waste lands

In areas with a somewhat more gentle topography distribution of land holdings among small/marginal and larger farm households is highly determined by the physical land conditions of the above described Land Types. All larger farms (> 20 acre) are found in the valley bottoms around the tanks (Land Type a), medium farms (10 to 20 acres) are found at the dry gently sloping lands with relatively deep soils adjacent to the valley bottoms (Land Type b), while the marginal/small land holdings are almost in all cases found at the higher, irregular and steeper slopes on shallow and very stony soils (Land Type c).

Members of the CSUs are thus found mainly on the higher slopes of the watershed (in the upper catchments). Indeed very little land in Land Type a or b belongs to the marginal or small farm households that form the Coolie Sanghas. For this reason it can be concluded that there is little risk that the proposed DLDP will be turn out to be non-viable due to scatteredness of the Coolie landholdings. However there are not infrequent cases that land belonging to the same category of landowners, but non-members of the CSU, is found amidst the land of CSU members. This may create indeed problems with regard to continuity of contour bunds. In most cases ADATS makes it a point to work in preference on areas where member landholdings are contiguous.