Agriculture Management

Pakistan’s principal natural resources are arable land and water. About 25% of Pakistan’s accounts for about 21% of gdp and employs about 43% of the labor force. In Pakistan, the most agricultural province is Punjab where wheat and cotton are the most grown. mango orchards are mostly found in Sindh and Punjab provinces that make Pakistan the world’s 4th largest producer of mangoes. barley and wheat cultivation along with the domestication of cattle, primarily sheep and goat was visible. Pakistan has a rich and vast natural resource base, covering various ecological and climatic zones; hence the country has great potential for producing all types of food commodities. Agriculture has an important direct and indirect role in generating economic growth. The importance of agriculture to the economy is seen in three ways: first, it provides food to consumers and fibres for domestic industry; second, it is a source of scarce foreign exchange earnings; and third, it provides a market for industrial goods.

Irrigation was developed in the Indus valley civilization by around 4500 bce. The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage and sewers.[5]sophisticated irrigation and water storage systems were developed by the indus valley civilization, including artificial reservoirs at girnardated to 3000 bce, and an early canal irrigation system from circa 2600 bce.

Land use, Farming System and Institutions: 

The total geographical area of Pakistan is 79.6 million hectares. About 27 percent of the area is currently under cultivation. Of this area, 80 percent is irrigated. In this regard, Pakistan has one of the highest proportions of irrigated cropped area in the world. The cultivable waste lands offering good possibilities of crop production amount to 8.9 million hectares. Growth in cropped area is very impressive: from 11.6 million hectares in 1947 to 22.6 million hectares in 1997.

Most of Pakistan is classified as arid to semi-arid because rainfall is not sufficient to grow agricultural crops, forest and fruit plants and pastures. About 68 percent of the geographical area has annual rainfall of 250 mm, whereas about 24 percent has annual rainfall of 251 to 500 mm. Only 8 percent of the geographical area has annual rainfall exceeding 500 mm. Thus supplemental water is required for profitable agricultural production, either from irrigation or through water harvesting.

Agriculture is largely dependent on artificial means of irrigation. Of the total cultivated area, about 82 percent or around 17.58 million hectares is irrigated, while crop production in the remaining 3.96 million hectares depends mainly upon rainfall. The Irrigation Canal Command Area (CCA) has been grouped into classes on the basis of the nature and severity of its limitations water logging, salinity, sodicity and texture. At present about one-fifth of the cultivated land in CCA is affected by water logging and salinity to varying degrees. An additional area of 2.8 million hectares suffers from sodicity. Notwithstanding huge investments, the water table  was 0 to 1.5 m under 2.2 million hectares of irrigated land, 1.5 to 3 m under 6 million hectares and 0to 3 m under 8 million hectares. Thus Pakistan needs to overhaul its entire drainage and reclamation strategy reduce its cost and make it efficient.

Significance of the agricultural sector in the economy:

Agriculture is an important sector, providing food to the fast-growing population of the country. According the 1998 census, the total population of Pakistan is 130 million. With a population growth rate of 2.6 percent there is a net addition of 3.4 million people each year. In 1947 the population of Pakistan was 32.5 million; in 50 years it has increased fourfold. During this period the production of wheat, the major food crop, has increased only 2.9 fold. During 1970/71 the amount of wheat imported was 0.3 million tons; it has increased to 4.1 million tons in 1997. Tremendous efforts have been carried out to narrow the gap between population growth and food production. Agriculture contributes about 24 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 47 percent of the national employed labour force. The contribution of the agricultural sector to the GDP has declined gradually since Pakistan came into existence, from over 50 percent in 1949-50 to about 24 percent in 1996-97. Agriculture still remains the major sector of the GDP composition. A major part of the economy depends on farming through production, processing and distribution of major agricultural commodities.

In foreign trade agriculture again dominates, through exports of raw products such as rice and cotton and semi-processed and processed products such as cotton yarn, cloth, carpets and leather production .Agriculture is essential for sustainable improvements in internal and external balances. Of the total export earnings, the share of primary commodities and processed and semi-processed products constituted almost 60 percent of the total exports. There have been some structural changes over time, but the contribution of agro-based products has more or less sustained its position. The average annual growth rates in the agricultural sector during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were 5.07, 2.37 and 5.4 percent, respectively. With the announcement of a new agriculture package by the government in April 1997, the growth rate during 1997/98 has improved to 5.9 percent.

More specifically; the agricultural sector plays an important part in Pakistan’s economy by:

  • contributing 24 percent towards GDP;
  • providing food to about 130 million people;
  • earning about 60 percent of the country’s total export earnings;
  • providing employment to 47 percent of the total work force;
  • providing the main source of livelihood for the rural population of Pakistan;
  • Providing raw materials for many industries and a market for many locally produced industrial products.

Overview of agricultural sector development

Significant progress has been made in development of the agricultural sector in Pakistan since the time of independence in 1947. At that time, the Indus Basin was irrigated with an extensive system of canal irrigation, sown with low-yielding traditional seed varieties, fertilized mainly with animal manure and cultivated by means of animal draught power and by hand.

In the early 1960s, conditions that favoured more rapid growth were put in place: the Indus Water Agreement was signed under the chairing of the World Bank; the Indus Basin Development Fund established with multi donor support; government improved the terms of agricultural trade; and tube were installed as a viable investment. That decade witnessed a green revolution in Pakistan, and crc production accelerated during the first part of the decade, primarily because of the increased use of inputs.

Pakistan’s agriculture has made a long and difficult journey. Its performance is marked by a mixed trend.  There have been some years of dismal growth and some years of cruising growth. Since 1980, agricultural GDP at constant factor cost has more than doubled, increasing from Rs 76 billion in 1980 to more than Rs 141 billion in 1996/97, with a steady growth rate of 3.91 percent annually. Agriculture’s share of total GDP  however, declined from about 31 percent to just 24 percent over the same period. Crop production contributed the largest share of agricultural GDP (62 percent in 1996). with livestock contributing 34 percent and fisheries and forestry the remaining 4 percent.