Agriculture is the pivot of the economy in Pakistan. The contribution of the Agri sector is crucial for the economy and the survival of the country.
The contribution of the Agri-sector to GDP is 21 % with an annual growth of 2.7%, which is quite low. It creates productive employment opportunities.44% of the labor of Pakistan is connected to agriculture, and 62 % of the rural population depends upon agriculture for their livelihood.
Agricultural progress is fundamental for food security in the country. To ensure agricultural progress the government has to invest in this sector. Besides its contribution to the food supply, it is one of the major suppliers of raw materials to the industry.
Our textile exports are associated with the growth of agriculture. It’s estimated that 80 % of the country’s export depends upon agro-based products. It shows the vital role of agriculture in the survival of our economy.
Agriculture sector characteristics and statistics
The report presented by the World Bank in 2014 showed that agricultural growth is less than the total GDP of the country. This is quite an astonishing fact that why the growth of the agriculture sector is lagging so behind.
This shows the fact that successive governments are not taking care of the sector. The implementation of the agricultural strategy properly can resolve the issue. Our irrigation system is huge but you will be amazed to know the fact that we are cultivating only 52 % of our agri-able land. The per acre production of Pakistan is quite low compared to advanced countries of Europe and America. Pakistan’s irrigation system is only able to cultivate 52% of the total irrigable land. The portion of Agri-based products to the total GDP is 21 %.
Pakistan main crops
The main crops of Pakistan are cotton, wheat, rice, and sugarcane. The production of these crops according to the economic survey was not consistent. This inconsistency in the production of these major crops caused havoc in the market. This is one of the main reasons why prices of edible goods are going upward. To control rising inflation, the government should take adoptive measures. There should be the availability of subsidized fertilizers and agricultural tools in the market. The government is trying to cultivate new profitable crops like olive and sunflower.
But these steps are enough to fulfill the increasing demand of the population. This phenomenon causes a shortage of major edible crops like wheat, rice, maize, and sugarcane. So today we are experiencing a crisis of flour and sugar. The prices of these goods are always rising. The deficiency of these main edible crops causes a disparity in Pakistan.
Crop seasons in Pakistan
There are two crop seasons in Pakistan. The first sowing season starts from April to June. The second sowing season starts from October to December. The main issue for the Pakistani former is the cost of production. The rising prices of electricity and fertilizers have increased the cost of production. This expense causes disparity informers.
Causes of the agricultural demise
There are many causes of demise in the agricultural sector in Pakistan. We try to elaborate on all of them here.
Changing weather and agriculture
The changing weather and climate conditions are causing havoc in the agricultural sector of Pakistan. The occasional rainfall and unstable weather conditions have now become an issue of great attention. Global warming is causing the temperature of the world towards an ever-rising index.
The rapidly shifting weather patterns are posing serious threats to the farmer’s capability to grow more crops. The productivity of crops is seriously hampered by weather change.
With the majority of farmers already abandoning their profession and shifting with much struggle to other sources of livelihood, the question that one must ask is if this occupation is one, that has been essential in making up the backbone of the economy, why isn’t the government being more persistent about catering to their needs?
Why agriculture is so important for Pakistan
Some people would think why agriculture is so important for Pakistan, the answer is that our whole industry is based on agriculture. We are an agro-based economy, we can’t even think of ignoring this sector. Our previous successive governments had done justice to this sector. People are leaving and this profession is becoming extinct.
In a country where the principal natural resources are land and water and where 21% of the GDP and 43% of the workforce is directly or indirectly associated with agriculture, it is absurd to be taking this lightly, 67 percent of Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas and depends mainly on agriculture, and about 32 percent of the population lives below the poverty level. The government should take serious action to eradicate the concerns of the formers.
Substantial lower production
What is additionally alarming is that even with the depleting figures,
where yield productions are substantially lower than the world average, the consumption of fertilizer per hectare in Pakistan is higher. Cotton is our main cash crop, there is a downward trend in its production. This is alarming for our country as the textile is the backbone of our economy. The major portion of our export is based on textile-related products.
It is said that to bring about a one percent increase in crop productivity across Pakistan, an additional 0.47 billion cubic meters of water is required.
Induction of new technology
This is an era of technology and per acre production of different countries is quite amazing. The agricultural equipment we are using in Pakistan, outdated and obscure. The induction of new technology certainly can increase our production. The government should subsidize agricultural equipment and fertilizers.
This simple action would indicate that this present government is taking the agricultural sector seriously. It is high time that the government, other than manifesting an image of their success through metro buses and laptops, fund projects that can aid irrigation systems, electricity supply, and early warning systems for climate change.
Current issues of agriculture
Under the current problems that Pakistan is suffering through, including soil degradation, depletion of water resources, mismanagement of irrigation systems, the distribution of the landholdings, and poor farming practices, it is highly unlikely that we as a country will have a good future where agriculture is concerned.