The article discusses “Agriculture of Pakistan notes. Problems of agriculture in Pakistan. Agriculture of Pakistan notes. Problems of agriculture sector in Pakistan and their solutions. Agriculture in Pakistan and its impact on economy. Agriculture of Pakistan notes. Importance of agriculture in Pakistan. Agriculture of Pakistan notes.”
Agriculture Of Pakistan Notes
Being an agricultural country, the economy of Pakistan is heavily dependent on agriculture sector. For its major contribution to the country’s economy it is generally called as the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. It has the following importance for the country and its economy.
Importance Of Agriculture in Pakistan
About eighty per cent of Pakistan’s population is linked either directly or indirectly to this sector. It is a major source of income for majority of people in the country. Its importance for Pakistan and its people can be understood from the following facts.
- According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistic (PBS) agriculture sector contributes about twenty four (24) per cent to Pakistan’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- It consumes almost half of the labor force in the country according to PBS.
- In Pakistan agriculture sector is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings.
- According to Agriculture Department of Punjab (agripunjab . gov .pk) agricultural goods and services contributes to seventy five (75) per cent of Pakistan’s total exports.
- The important agricultural crops of Pakistan are wheat, cotton, maize and sugarcane.
Problems Of Pakistan Agriculture
Some of the major problems faced by agriculture sector in Pakistan are given below.
Floods: Every year thousand acres of cultivated land is washed away by floods in Pakistan. It also destroys grown up crops every year that result in acute reduction of productivity and ultimately shortage of food in the country. Floods are a permanent problem of Pakistan but unfortunately the government has never taken serious steps to control them and store their water especially when the country is facing an acute shortage of water.
Water-logging And Salinity: Both water-logging and salinity are considered as ‘Land Cancer’. They devour land fertility quickly. It is caused by any of the following two reasons;
- Water level rises from water table to 1.5 meter
- Or water level reaches near to earth surface
Stagnant water adversely affects the growth of crops. When water is evaporated, it leaves salt on the ground that causes un-productivity of land.
Inadequate Irrigation Facilities: Pakistan has one of the best irrigation systems in South Asia but still these facilities are considered inadequate. Rainfall is scanty in most parts of the country and therefore cannot meet our irrigation requirement. Due to scanty rainfall and inadequate irrigation facilities thousands acre of land lies uncultivated in Pakistan.
Land Erosion: Land and soil erosion is another major problem faced by the agriculture sector in Pakistan. It damages land by dissecting it into small units thus decrease their yield and productivity.
Illiteracy Of Farmers: Majority of small farmers, those that are directly linked with cultivation and harvesting of crops, are illiterate in Pakistan. They are unaware of modern cultivation techniques, methods and machines.
Use Of Conventional Methods: In Pakistan farmers are mostly dependent on conventional methods of cultivation. They use the old, outdated methods that not only consumes much of the time but also yield in less production.
Uncultivated Land: Under cultivation of land is also a big problem. In Pakistan total cultivable land area is about 79.61 M. hectares. Out of this only 20.43 M. hectares (taken from Ikram Rabbani book ‘Pakistan Studies’) of land is cultivated.
Lack Of Modern Machinery: Majority of farmers in Pakistan cannot afford advance and modern machines to purchase and use them for the cultivation of crops. This also reduces crops production in Pakistan.
Role Of Middle Man: Unfortunately farmers in Pakistan do not have direct access to markets due to one or another reason. Due to this they sell their agriculture goods to middle man, who has direct approach to markets. Middle man purchase crops at very low price from farmers and then sell them at higher rate in markets and get benefited more than poor farmers.
Poor Transportation System: In Pakistan due to poor transportation system, farmers are also unable to sell their crops in market and so they either sell their crops at very low price in local market or get perished.
Other Problems: Other problems of agriculture sector of Pakistan include;
- Financial problems of farmers
- Un-even distribution of land
- Low per hectare yield
Solution Of Agriculture Problems in Pakistan
To solve the problems of agriculture sector in Pakistan, the following suggestions need to be considered in this regard.
Floods Control: The government should take meaningful steps in controlling floods that destroy tons of standing crops each year in Pakistan. In this regard government has established Flood Control Centers which informed government and public of the upcoming floods on time but this not enough. Government should take steps to;
- Minimize devastation of floods
- Store water of floods for irrigation purposes
Water-Logging And Salinity Control: The next major step that government should take is to control water-logging and salinity problem. The government has already launched Salinity Control And Reclamation Project (SCARP) but its rate of progress seems very slow. Rapid actions should be taken in this regard.
Improvement Of Irrigation System: Steps should be taken to improve irrigation system of the country to make it possible to cultivate each piece of land that is cultivable in the country.
Control Land Erosion: Federal government should help local governments in controlling land erosion. For this purpose special funds should be allocated to local/municipal governments to take steps on urgent bases.
Training Of Farmers: Our farmers should be trained and educated with all modern techniques and methods of farming. For this purpose special T.V. programmes and workshop should be arranged.
Use Of Modern Techniques: Government should make sure the use of modern techniques to increase production ratio.
Use Of Modern Machinery: Production ratio can only be increased if we use modern techniques of cultivation and harvesting by using modern technology.
Transportation Facilities: Our transport system should be improved and expanded so that our farmers can easily transport their goods to market and get benefited. By this the role of middle man can be easily decreased.
Steps Already Taken By The Government
Some steps that government has already taken in this regard are given below.
Establishment Of SCARP: For controlling Water-logging and Salinity, government has initiated Salinity Control And Reclamation Project (SCARP)
Creation Of Flood Control Centers: For controlling floods, government has established Flood Control Centers that informed public and government on time of the upcoming floods thus helps in the reduction of its intensity of destruction.
Steps Taken For Agricultural Growth: In this regard the following steps have been taken.
- Provision of fertilizers and improved seeds
- Easy loan schemes for farmers
- Creation of research centers
Training Of Farmers: The government has also taken steps for the training and education of farmers. The use of modern techniques and machine has been taught to many farmers in different parts of the country.
Agriculture sector is considered the life line of Pakistan economy. It has feed the country and its people for the past seven decades despite many problems that it is facing from the beginning. Now it is time the government should take some meaningful steps for the permanent solution of these problems. The government has already taken some steps but they are considered insufficient. Both efficiency and rapidness in government actions are needed in this regard.
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