Definition of Agriculture:
The art or science of cultivating the ground, including the harvesting of crops, and the rearing and management of livestock; tillage; husbandry ; farming.
Agricultural sector is the backbone of our economy. But the growth of agriculture in Pakistan is facing a lot of problems. Due to various causes, per acre yield is very low in Pakistan as compare to other developed countries. From time Immemorial, agriculture has been the major occupation of the people of Pakistan. Even today agriculture is a major sector and occupies a very important place in the economy of Pakistan. It not only provides food for our growing population but is a source of raw materials for our principal industries as well as a source of foreign exchange for our government. Although it is developing rapidly and becoming industrialized. Pakistan is very much agricultural country. Agriculture has been carried on in the fertile plain of the Indus for thousands of years. However agricultural methods have been changing over the year. Today many farmers still use basic tools on the land but many new and modren machines are also used.
Modern improvements include the use of tractors, threshers, improved seeds, insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizer. Irrigation methods have also been improved. All the workers in Pakistan make up the workforce. Agriculture employed 66per cent of the total workforce in 1950-51, but by 1999-2000 this figure had dropped to 47.3 per cent. This does not mean that agricultural production has dropped. It means that on large farms machines are doing the work instead of many people. It also means that people are working in many other jobs too. Over the years, the produce from farms and the area on which crops are grown have both increased. Pakistan lies in a semi-arid subtropical region.
It is in the north east of the world; that is just above tropic of cancer i.e. 23.5oN. Its dimensions are 240 30N to 370 N and 610 E to 750 E approximately. Pakistan has 1046km coastline in the south that impacts its climate and agriculture. 32% of our gross domestic products belong to this sector. It engages 53% of our employed labour. About 75% of our people are engaged directly or indirectly with this profession. A large part (about 10%) of Pakistan’s exports is made up of primary commodities, including the major cash crops. In addition to this major large scale industries like cotton textile and sugar etc. as well as medium and small scale agro-based and cottage industries are directly dependent on this sector for their raw materials.
The magnanimity of the agricultural problems in Pakistan has undoubtedly crippled the economy. In 1947, agricultures contribution of GDP was 53% that has shrunken down to 21% last year. Pakistan has great agricultural potential because of its alluvial soils. However, it is producing almost 50% below its potential. Total land area of Pakistan is 96.9% and 3.1% is constituted of water bodies. Total cropped area of Pakistan is 23.04 million hectors. 90% of the land is irrigated and only remaining 10% is rain fed. In Pakistan, Intensive Subsistence Farming is largely practiced Use of fertilizers and pesticides; and techniques of crop rotation are practiced widely in order to have larger yield. Putting Agriculture in Perspective: Some Basic Facts of Rural Areas Poverty in the rural areas is significantly higher than in the urban areas.
68% of the Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas.
60% of Pakistan’s rural poor are landless.
45% are non- agricultural households
With a little developed Non Farm Sector the overwhelming burden is on the agriculture sector The highest incidence of poverty is in the zones that rely the most on crop incomes.
Sources of Income and Rural Poverty
• • On average crop income accounts for only about 50 percent of total rural incomes. • • Due to the unequal distribution of land – increase in crop income serves to exacerbate overall income inequality. • • Within crop income the poor rely mainly on food crops such as wheat. • • The well off have more diversified crop production with greater proportion of cash crops.
Economy of every state depends on three sectors i.e agriculture, industry and commerce. These three are interrelated with each other as the progress or retrogress of one sector effects the other two. Pakistan is an agricultural state thus agriculture gains are of much importance than any other sector. Importance of this sector is manifold as it feeds people, provides raw material for industry and is a base for foreign trade. Foreign exchange earned from merchandise exports is 45% of total exports of Pakistan.
It contributes 26% of GDP and 52% of the total populace is getting its livelihood from it. 67.5% people are living in the rural areas of Pakistan and are directly involved in it. Much of the land in Pakistan is not very fertile, crops do not grow well on such land .Punjab is the best area for crops because of its fertile soil and irrigation system. It makes up a quarter of the total area of Pakistan , but has over 57per cent of the cultivated land in the country. Almost 70 per cent of the cultivated land is used to grow food crops. In Pakistan we grow two crops.
1- Rabi crops
2- kharif crops
Rabi crops are winter crops which include wheat, gram , masoor, and mustard. Kharif crops are summer crops which include cotton , rice , maize, millet .
Major crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice, maize, cotton and sugar cane. These major crops contributed 7.7% last year against the set target of 4.5%. Minor crops are canola, onions, mangoes and pulses which contributed 3.6% as there was no virus attack last year. Fishery and Forestry contributes 16.6% and 8.8% respectively. Pakistan is rich in fertile land yet the land is being wasted in different ways. 79.6% million hectors of land is culturable whereas only 20.43% million hectors is cultivated. The reason can be described in two points.
1-A major area is owned by feudals. It is difficult to manage such a huge area so only that part is cultivated which is easy to manage, the rest is left ignored. 2-The rise of industrialization has given threat to this sector. People are migrating to cities and cities are expanding, thus new towns and colonies are constructed on fertile lands. Agricultural sectors
Even today agriculture is a major sector and occupies a very important place in the economy of Pakistan. It not only provides food for our growing population but is a source of raw materials for our principal industries as well as a source of foreign exchange for our government. The major sectors of agriculture are water irrigation , livestock ,fishery ,forestry .
WATER – Irrigation
The irrigation system of Pakistan needs improvement as about 67% of the land is irrigated with canals. Total irrigated area increased by 80 percent between 1960 and 2005, from 10.4 to 18.8 million hectares, mainly due to an expansion in tube well irrigation. • Nearly 80 percent of Pakistan’s cropped area is irrigated. – 37 percent of irrigated land was irrigated solely with canal water – 41 percent with canal and tube well water
– 18 percent solely with tube well water (2004-05 data).
– About 60 percent of irrigated water available at farm head is provided by canal water 40 percent is supplied by groundwater. • Current patterns of water use are resulting in significant environmental degradation – Losses of soil fertility due to soil salinity and erosion are estimated at Rs 70 bn/year (1.5% of GDP; 6.8% of agricultural GDP in 2004-05. • Inefficiencies in water allocation reduce crop productivity at both head end (due to over-use of water and water logging) and tail end (due to water shortages) . • Total availability of water in the Indus river basin has declined Additional storage could help increase availability of water in dry season (rabi), but will not be available for at least ten years.
4. Livestock and Dairy
Livestock accounts for about 50 percent of agricultural GDP
• Livestock is more evenly distributed than are land and access to water
– Livestock growth is pro-poor
• Veterinary services and milk marketing are major constraints
• Halla Dairy Experience provides some exciting lessons
According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, the livestock sector contributes about half of the value added in the agriculture sector, amounting to nearly 11 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP, which is more than the crop sector. The leading daily newspaper Jang reports that the national herd consists of 24.2 million cattle, 26.3 million buffaloes, 24.9 million sheep, 56.7 million goats and 0.8 million camels. In addition to these there is a vibrant poultry sector in the country with more than 530 million birds produced annually.
These animals produce 29.472 million tons of milk (making Pakistan the 4th largest producer of milk in the world ),1.115 million tons of beef, 0.740 million tons of mutton, 0.416 million tons of poultry meat , 8.528 billion eggs , 40.2 thousand tons of wool , 21.5 thousand tons of hair and 51.2 million skin hides. The Food and agriculture organization reported in June 2006 that in Pakistan, government initiatives are being undertaken to modernize milk collection and to improve milk and milk product storage capacity. The Federal Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.758,470 million in 2005 thus registering over 70% growth since 2000
Fishery and fishing industry plays an important role in the national economy of Pakistan. With a coastline of about 1046 km, Pakistan has enough fishery resources that remain to be fully developed. It is also a major source of export earning.
About only 4% of land in Pakistan is covered with forest. The forest of Pakistan a main source of food lumber, paper, fuelwood, latex, medicine as well as used for purposes of wildlife conservation and ecotourismForestry. About only 4% of land in Pakistan is covered with forest. The forest of Pakistan are a main source of food, lumber, paper, fuelwood, latex, medicine as well as used for purposes of wildlife conservation and ecotourism. In Pakistan, women are key players in the agriculture sector which employs almost 12 million women in the production of crops, vegetables and livestock. The cotton crop, accounting for half of national export earnings, depends heavily on female labour.
Women have the exclusive responsibility for cotton picking, exposing themselves in the process to health hazards emanating from the intensive use of pesticides (Bari, 2000). One study on gender in Pakistan found overwhelming evidence of a division of labour based on gender and family status in which men are responsible for market work (such as farming, herding and other income generating activities) and women are responsible for home production activities.
Pakistan is a cluster of more than 170 million people. Though Pakistan is the most urbanized country in South Asia, yet it is an agrarian economy. Fluctuating policies, influx of MNCs and private sector have forced the rural labor to find better economic opportunities in urban centers. But unfortunately, they have added to the poverty only. Pakistan is suffering from energy and water shortage and food inflation has been touching double figures. Realizing these ground realities Pakistan needs to look seriously in to its agricultural problems.
2010 floods played havoc with the agricultural lands. Changing climatic conditions; rise in temperature and changing patterns of rainfall are also adding to the agricultural problems. No matter how long lived and deep rooted are the problems of agriculture in Pakistan, they can be solved with due deliberation in to them. Apart form these issues the monopoly of Foreign Big Wigs and false policies of government cannot be ignored. Agricultural problems in Pakistan The List of the challenges to Pakistans Agriculture :
1. Flat (low) yields and large yield gap
2. Low productivity of water
3. Non-reliability of water services
4. Under-performance of rural factor markets and extension services 5. Under-investment in research and technology development
Monopoly Of Foreign Companies:
The pesticides companies are sorting partnership with “World Bank”. These companies are selling adulterated but expensive pesticides to a poor farmer thus leaving him helpless. These pesticides are not only hazardous for health but also a filling the pockets of companies. By moving according to world bank these companies are gaining their own aims. Moreover there is a conflict of interests. It is not ensured that either the company conducting agreement is basically trying to get access to international market or just working according to their aims.91% of genetically engineered (GE) seeds is made and owned by one US Company called Monsanto. Therefore, Pakistan has asked Monsanto to provide seeds which consume less water as Pakistan is moving towards the abyss of water shortage.
It is a notorious organization that took the farmers to courts many times as it did not give ownership right to farmers to preserve seed. Even the seed of harvested crop cannot be used again for cultivation. Non-comprehensive Policies Of Pakistan: 18 billion in budget was allocated for agricultural sector of Pakistan but the withdrawal of subsidy on pesticides and electricity on the conditions of IMF has done serious damage to this sector. In Punjab sugar cane is sold 200 Rs. per 40 kilograms. It was purchased and later on stocked by Industrialist in their stores. When Brazil bought sugarcane from International Market and prices become high, the Pakistan sugar mills owners projected demand of selling sugar at high prices, thus Pakistan faced sugar crisis. Then Pakistan had to import Sugar at high prices therefore, the prices of sugar went high in local markets.
1. Limited Cultivable Area:
The total area of Pakistan is about 79.6 million hectares, out of which only 23.7 million hectares (28%) area is used for agricultural purposes. About 8 million hectares area is idle and un-utilized.
2. Problem of Land Reforms:
Land reforms have been implemented against the will of people. There is an urgent need to conduct a proper land reform for improving agricultural growth. Due to this problem agricultural production cannot increase to desired level.
3. Uneconomic Land Holdings:
Due to increasing population and division of land under the law of inheritance, landholdings are subdivided over and over again. The result is that very large number of farmers has less than 2 hectares of area. It is difficult to use modern machinery on small pieces of land.
4. Low per Hectare Yield:
The most important problem of agriculture is its low yield per hectare for almost every major crop. 45.0% of labour force is engaged in this sector in Pakistan while it is less than 5% in developed countries. But, other countries of world are getting higher yield per hectare due to use of modern technology and trained labour.
5. Subsistence Farming:
Our farmer is attached with subsistence farming; a huge of portion of production is consumed at farmer’s own house to support large family. Hence, less portion of the production is available for market supply. It causes low income of the farmers. Farming is not conducted at commercial level in Pakistan.
6. Lack of Irrigation Facilities:
Shortage of irrigation facilities causes a serious limitation in the expansion of crop area in Pakistan. The lower water supplies, loses from water course in the fields are the serious problems of farm sector. Actual surface water availability is 91.8 million acre feet.
7. Water wastage:
Water wastage is very high in our country. The flood irrigation is still in practice in whole of the country which wastes almost 50 to 60 percent of water.
8. Improper Crop Rotation:
Proper turning round of crops is essential to re-establish the fertility of the land. The constant cultivation of one crop or two; exhausts the fertility of the soil. Proper rotation of crops is necessary in order to restore the fertility but farmers are illiterate and they don’t know about crop rotation.
9. Poor Means Of Transportation:
The agricultural activities in our country are performed in rural areas, but most of our villages have no road or railway links with our markets. So farmers have to face innumerable hardships to sell their products. Hence the farmers take very little interest in their profession and production suffers.
10. Inadequate Supply of Agricultural Inputs:
The supply of modern inputs like high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized machinery etc. not only costly but also inadequate and irregular in Pakistan. Numbers of fertilizer producing units are just 10 in Pakistan.
11) Under Utilization of Land
Mostly poor population is attached with agricultural sector in Pakistan. They are using traditional means of cultivation. Our farmer is not interested to use the advanced and modern means of farming, as a result area under cultivation remains underutilized, un-utilized or mis-utilized. About 25% of Pakistan’s total land area is under cultivation.
1. Natural Calamities:
Labour is in the hand of mankind but its result is in the hands of ALLAH in agriculture sector. So, growth of agriculture is dominated by nature. In case if there is too much rain, reduction in the productivity. There is 20% reduction in productivity due to unnecessary rain and unfavorable climatic situations in Pakistan. 2. Insect pest attack:
Due to lack of agricultural education and methods of modern research, our farmers cannot control the various attacks of pests and insects. The result is low yields.
3. Various Plant Diseases:
Various agricultural crops like cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, wheat and rice often come under attack of pests and insects. Pests and plant diseases reduce the annual productivity of agriculture.
4. Soil Erosion:
In some areas of our country, especially in hilly regions, the upper fertile soil is being eroded by different natural agents of change .Thus the fertility is poor and soils are becoming less productive.
5. Water Logging and Salinity:
Water logging and salinity are twin problems of agricultural sector due to salinity, deposits of salt in land have appeared on the surface of land and they have adversely affected the performance of agricultural sector. Water logging and salinity affect about 0.10 million acre of land in every year. It is not only waste of land but also reduction in productivity.
1. Political Instability:
Political instability has affected development in all economic and social sectors. Unfortunately, the political situations in Pakistan are not stable. It creates unrest among the farmers to sell the productions to various industries as a raw material. On the other hand, people hesitate to invest in agricultural sector due to political unrest.
2. Joint Family System:
Joint family system is also a big problem in agricultural sector. Our farmer is poor; on the other hand he has to support his big family. It creates deficiency in saving and investment. A huge part of farmer’s productivity is consumed at his own house.
3. Consumption Oriented:
Our farmers have no proper records of their incomes and expenses. Mostly, they spend more when they have more due to illiteracy. A huge part of the farmer’s income is consumed on occasions of marriage, birth, death and several other rural ceremonies and festivals in Pakistan.
In most of the rural areas of Pakistan there is hold of feudal lords. People were forced to work for them. According to “Pakistan Human Development Report 2003” about 57.4% poor are working for feudal-lords without wages.
5. Lack of education:
Most of the farmers, labourers and tenants in our country are illiterate. They are untrained and inefficient to boost up the agricultural productivity. On the other side, the health of our farmers is improper due to rural backwardness. Literacy rate is only 57.7 % in Pakistan. Economic Survey of Pakistan shows that literacy remains higher in urban areas (73.2 percent) than in rural areas (49.2 percent).
6. Lack of planning:
As Pakistan as an agriculture country but our budget have a very small part for agriculture sector. Loan facilities for farmers are very less and tight. They have to pay a large amount in return. So this will produce problems for farmers and increase their problems.
7. Inadequate Agricultural Research:
The average crop yield in Pakistan is very low as compared to the production levels of the advanced countries of the world. In order to raise the potential of agricultural production, there should be continuous improvement in the research for agricultural growth. Total agricultural universities and colleges are only 16 in Pakistan.
1. Lack of Credit:
Basically our farmer is poor and he has low level of income. Agricultural credit facilities are not common in Pakistan. Credit that can facilitate agriculture is not available easily. Moreover non-institutional sources are available but these are not reliable due to high rate of interest. About 50.8% poor borrow from landlords in Pakistan.
2. Poor Financial Position of Farmers:
Mostly the farmers in our country are poor. It is a common saying about our farmer that he born in debts, grows in debts and dies in debts. It means that financial position of Pakistani farmer is weak and poor. According to “Pakistan Human Development Report 2003” about 57.4% poor are working for feudal-lords without wages.
3. Instability in Market Prices:
The price market of agricultural goods generally remains unstable in the country. Cobweb theorem is very popular in case of market prices; it means that a price of one commodity is much high in this year and much low in the next year and vice versa. The farmers, do not get due reward from the sale of their productions. So, they remain unsatisfied.
4. Lack Of Capital:
The majority of our farmers are poor and they often live in a hand to mouth position. Most of them are always under heavy burdens of debts. So due to lack of capital they cannot afford to purchase modern scientific implements, chemical manures, improved types of seeds etc. Hence they cannot attain the required standards.
EFFECTS 1. Illiteracy:
Due to illiteracy people do not know their rights. They do not know how they can improve their efficiency. They do not know that they have to fight for better life standard. They do not get education about agriculture and use old methods as their fore father use in past.
2. In- security:
When the farmers take loans for their crops and due to some reason like in case of flood they are not able to return their loans. Land lord increase their interest rate and take hold of their properties .In this case people do not feel secure they do not want to take heavy loans. Their properties and their self remains un-secure.
3. Health problems:
Due to agricultural problems peoples health are effecting. Health is the main thing for strong and healthy person. Farmer used different fertilizers and sprays for healthy crops. But in reality they harm our health because they are exposed directly to the chemical pesticides and fertilizers
4. Economic growth:
Agricultural problems are mainly effecting the economic growth. Pakistan is an agricultural country. Its economy mainly depends on the agriculture .Due to poor agricultural and transportation our economy is going down day by day. Our government is facing deficit due to lack of facilites. So our development is very slow.
Due to feudalism aggressive feelings are rising. Land lords do not want any development. They gave them low wages in return to their services. And they can not raise their voices. So by this aggression feelings are provoking in the people. They are becoming frustrated and aggressive.
6. Poor technology:
People do not have the knowledge of new technology. Due to poor technology our efficiency is very slow even we are agricultural country. People also do not have enough credit facilites. So farmers are compelled to use the old technology and methods due to poor financial resources.
7. Wastage of land:
Agricultural problems also effecting the land. Due to lack of irrigation or poor fertilizers some of our land is going to barren. By these fertilizer our fertilize land is going to damage .After using these fertilizers 6 to 7 times land can not be used. By improving irrigation and good fertilizer we can save our land.
Inflation is the higher in prices .Due to agricultural problems prices are going to high inflation is taking place .The things which are good are exported to other countries. And due to higher in exports people have to face shortage problems which results in inflation.
9. Environment is effecting:
Agricultural problems are also effecting the environment. Due to increase in deforestation our land and environment also facing problems .Trees plays important role in the hindrance of storms and flood. Trees also help in clean environment. They also give fresh air and also reduce the global warming. So due to deforestation we are facing the unclean environment and global warming. Chlorofluorocarbons (CCF) also increasing in environment due to the cutting of trees.
Pakistan is an agricultural country. Most of people are farmers by profession. One has land which is full filling the needs of his family but he has to divide the land into his children when they got young. After division the land is not sufficient to support a family which results in increase in the poverty rate.
Due to mechanization of agriculture there is less use of labour in agricultural sector. These unemployed persons move to cities to find jobs at less wage rate. Accordingly, use of modern techniques in agricultural sector is also further cause of unemployment and under employment.
12. In- fertility:
Due to excessive use of fertilizers the fertility of the land decreases so this result in reduction of production.
The farmers, do not get due reward from the sale of their productions due to the instability in market prices. So, they remain unsatisfied.
14. Inadequate Research:
Due to this the average crop yield in Pakistan is very low as compared to the production levels of the advanced countries of the world. In order to raise the potential of agricultural production, there should be continuous improvement in the research for agricultural growth.
15. Unrest among People:
Political instability creates unrest among the farmers to sell the productions to various industries as a raw material. On the other hand, people hesitate to invest in agricultural sector due to political unrest.
16. Decrease in production
The upper fertile soil is being eroded by different natural agents of change like soil erosion.It is not only waste of land but also soils are becoming less productive and the fertility is poor.
17. Poor Efficiency:
Due to illiteracy being un-trained the efficiency of the farmers is very poor they did not know about modern technologies and methods of farming so due to this their efficiency and level of productions remains low.
18. Under-Utilization of Land:
Our farmer is not interested to use the advanced and modern means of farming, as a result area under cultivation remains underutilized, un-utilized or mis-utilized
Courtney from Study Moose
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