Profiles: Central Afghanistan: the Hazarajat
Bamyan and Ghor provinces (plus part of Ghazni, Parwan and Wardak provinces)
The main central massif of the Hindu Kush makes up what is generally known as the Hazarajat. This zone is made up of high valleys and plateaux, with agriculture practiced from 2,000-4,000m.
Little rainfed agriculture is practiced in these regions, except on a very limited scale in Ghor and Bamyan provinces. The area under irrigated wheat in these two provinces has decreased as a result of the conflict, drought and breakdown of irrigation systems. The winter snow and autumn rain is essential for replenishing the water tables that feed some of the most important river systems, including the Harirud and the Helmand/Arghandhab systems.
The high plateaux traditionally provide a vast area of alpine and summer pasturage for both local flocks and herds of the local Tajik, Aymaq and Hazara clans as well as the migratory flocks of the Pashtun Kuchi people from the south and the mainly Turkic pastoral clans from the northern plains.