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Pakistan Agriculture

 
 

Country Overview:
Pakistan is an agricultural economy, contributing 21% in GDP of the country & engaging 44% of work force. More than two-third’s of Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas and their livelihood continues to revolve around agriculture and allied activities. Like in other developing countries, poverty in Pakistan is largely a rural phenomenon; therefore, development of agriculture will be a principal vehicle for alleviating rural poverty. Empirical evidence suggests that higher growth in agriculture on a sustained basis had a lasting impact on poverty reduction in Asia in the 1970s and the 1980’s. In later decades the impact of agriculture on poverty reduction became weaker as the Asian countries in general, and South Asia in particular, began to witness productivity gains stagnating on account of structural issues, including limited investment in research and extension services.

The recent global food crises, while creating difficulties for net food importing countries, is equally providing opportunities for developing countries like Pakistan to get their acts together and benefit from the current situation by giving more serious attention to agriculture.

Besides, Pakistan it self needs increase produce of its crop to feed its growing population. According to an estimate country need 273% increase in fruits, 62% in wheat, 20% in rice, 69% in maize, 38% in Sugar, 45% edible oil, and 15% cotton.

Challenges to Face:
Fertile soils, favorable weather conditions & fresh water are few of Pakistan valuable resources, which are being utilized to transform agriculture and feed the nation & support economy. In contrary, years of traditional farming practices have resulted in the diminishing growth in yield & production per acre, instead of investing more on inputs & increased consumption of fertilizers.

To be more specific, limiting factor behind stagnant agriculture growth is lack of awareness with modern farming practices & new technological advancements. Few important factors are as follows:

  1. Imbalance Fertilization: National statistics highlight that in Pakistan fertilizer usage on various crops is in best case misbalanced. Imbalance use of fertilizer i.e. over focus on nitrogen and minimal use of potassic fertilizers is an important aspect to address. This nutrient mismanagement resulted in potassic deficient soil & affect yields.
  2. Soil Structure deterioration: Pakistani soils are alkaline in nature, research have proved that off take of nutrient by plants from soils is not that efficient as in neutral soils. This is why instead of our increasing phosphatic use in not bring in the major impact in our yields. In order to get our crops utilize available nutrients, it is important to reclaim pH of soils.
  3. Water Scarcity : The Indus irrigation system, developed in the 19th century became the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world as a result deserts bloomed and irrigated agriculture provide the platform for the development of modern economy. Now, water situation is extremely precarious, according to an estimate, water availability has plummeted from about 5,000 cubic meters per capita in 1950s to less than 1,500 m3 per capita today. Structural water stress is increasing on daily basis by its high population. According to secure production increase requirement under prevailing condition, 30% water availability would be required.
  4. Modern Farming Practices: Farmer communities are practicing their traditional ways of farming and are unaware of technological & modern practices.

In order to streamline our agriculture, essentially following areas need to be address:

  • Soils Management.
  • Nutrition Management
  • Water Management
  • Technological methods of farming