The basic data contained in the present work have
an intrinsic value as the vast amount of first hand unpublished
information which remains buried in the departmental records and
exists in the minds of the officers have been brought to light
with cartographic and statistical techniques. There is a need
of such information to be made available in a consolidated form
for future planning based on the past experiences.
Three main approaches to the geographical study of
subsistence agriculture can be suggested, namely an ecological
approach, the land utilization approach, and a statistical approach
(McMaster, 1962) . Statistical approaches are adopted in the
present study. These contribute to a good understanding of
agriculture and yield direct illuminative and quantitative
information of cropping and changes. The present work is confined
to the areal framework of assessment circles and a large number of
sample villages. Such works depend upon the availability,
accessibility, duration, consistency in recording and the reliability
of official records. Those who helped in the collection of the
returns are acknowledged on page i. At the beginning of each part
in introduction wherever necessary, the sources, the systems of
recording and the validity and use of the data are mentioned.
Hissar has an unusually large and significant body of detailed
statistical information on agriculture, rainfall, irrigation and
population available at the local offices. The consistency in the
boundaries of the component areal units and the homogeneity in the
systems of land records over area and time are worth mention. It
was decided to conduct the present study upon the unpublished
estimates of the assessment circles and sample villages.
Intimate personal contacts with Hisser since 1950 helped
considerably to conduct the systematic land-use analysis. The
estimates are collected from the primary source personally.
Opportunities were taken wherever possible to interview the local
inhabitants and the migrants to gather the relevant information
to synthesize with the statistical analysis.
Any statistical approach is limited by the quality of the
official information upon which it is erected. It must be said
that the present Hissar acreage statistics for each crop season,
rainfall figures and census records are efficiently, officially
documented with a considerable breakdown for the period of study:
1950 to 1962. The methods of handling the returns are exhibited
at appropriate places in the text.
In the analysis and summary of the data all clerical work
has been checked more than twice. The collection and computation
of data have been done from the revenue records for a period of
twelve years for all the assessment circles and a large number of
sample villages based on systematic grid pattern which offset the
disadvantage of mistakes and limitations if any in the data.
While great care has been taken to avoid errors, still it is
scarcely to be expected that all have been avoided, and if any
are discovered by the reader, the writer would greatly appreciate
having his attention called to them. Calculations are quite
large and complicated ones and carried to two to three decimals.
Thereafter, in certain cases, the figures were rounded.
The correlation of field observations and data have been
demonstrated. The essential matter so derived is presented in
the graphs, diagrams and distribution maps, after boiling down of
a large body of data to a thesis size. Most of the maps are
choropleth maps in which regional differences in the importance
of particular elements are shown by the differences in the density
of shading. The choice of the class interval is a compromise of
three ideals, the quartile method, the selection of values which
group areas with similar physical, economic and human characteristics and the production of a map which is effectively comprehended.
It is hoped that such maps themselves will be a challenge to produce
more adequate explanations.
No detailed work has previously been published which
depicts the geographical investigation of the agriculture of Hissar
based on the all areal components. The District Gazetter (1915),
the Settlement Reports (1875 to 1915) and the Economic Inquiries
(1937 to 1962) are the only official documents covering agriculture
in a very generalised form. It indicates the scope which existed
for further geographical inquiry of Hissar.
Contemporaneously agricultural economics has gained new
life from the logical analysis of systematically collected data
which strongly equipped the writer for the study of composition,
practices and changes of agriculture in Hissar. These further
endeavour to calculate the carrying capacity of the land on the
basis of land -use and production, the economic density and the
changes in economic density by computing the returns into standard
nutrition and production units and to ascertain the volume and
combination of change in the various aspects of land -use as
detailed in the Appendices: I and II respectively. The proposed
logical outline of the work is as follows:-
Parts I, II and III attempt to deal with the physical,
economic and demographic bases of farming respectively.
Parts IV, V and VI try to relate the agricultural problems
to the prevailing physical, economic and social conditions,
emphasizing their impulse on the land -use during the 1950's.
Finally, in Part VII, the analysis of the component areal
units is integrated to derive agricultural regions on a statistical
basis and the findings have been brought together for the use of
the irrigation and agriculture personnels for future developments.
It is hoped, too, that this arrangement will ease the task
of such readers as have not a very detailed knowledge of the
physical and socio- economic geography influencing the agricultural
geography of Hissar.