Mountains occupy 24% of the terrestrial surface of the earth. In this rugged and varied landscape, agriculture and its related practices are quite different from agriculture in the plains. Mountain agriculture, like other forms of agriculture, is part of a holistic farming system. In the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, which is primarily agrarian and where ICIMOD is mandated to work, agriculture practices are integrated into five types of farming systems: (1) pastoral, (2) agro-pastoral, (3) middle-hill farming, (4) shifting cultivation, and (5) cash-crop based farming.
The pastoral system is dominated by rangelands, which cover 54% of the HKH region (out of a total area of 4.3 million sq. km). In high altitude areas, livestock farming based on yak, sheep and goats is highly prevalent.
Agro-pastoralism is a combination of agriculture and livestock farming with a high dependence on rangelands.
Middle-hill farming is dominated by agriculture with integrated forestry, agroforestry and livestock farming.
Shifting cultivation is a traditional slash-and-burn agroforestry practice with crop and fallow phases.
Finally, cash crop based farming includes agroforestry-horticulture-based high value crops such as tea, coffee, nuts, fruits, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), and spices such as large cardamom.
Pastoralism, agro-pastoralism and shifting cultivation in particular are sustained through traditional systems of accessing and managing common pool resources. Therefore mountain agriculture is unique in many ways, and demands a farming systems development approach.
This interactive application provides land cover statistics for the whole country or a selected district. Change map is generated for each class showing the areas of gain or loss while the conversion to or from other classes can be seen on the chart. The land cover of different years can be viewed using a swipe tool which helps to explore the changes in a an interactive manner.
This application uses district based statistics on various agriculture products such as crops, legumes, fruits and livestock published by Ministry of Agriculture. Likewise, district’s elevation range information shown in the same section have been derived from global Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 90m Digital Elevation Model dataset.