The Future of Agri­cul­ture in Pak­istan

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Pak­istan’s prin­ci­pal nat­u­ral re­sources are arable land and wa­ter. About 25% of Pak­istan’s ac­counts for about 21.2% of GDP and em­ploys about 43% of the labour force. In Pak­istan, the most agri­cul­tural prov­ince is the Pun­jab where wheat and cot­ton are the most grown. Some peo­ple also have mango or­chards but due to some prob­lems like weather, they’re not found in a big range.

Ad­dress­ing the ground­break­ing cerBar­ley and wheat cul­ti­va­tion—along with the do­mes­ti­ca­tion of cat­tle, pri­mar­ily sheep and goat—was vis­i­ble in Mehrgarh by 8000–6000 BC. They cul­ti­vated six-row bar­ley, einkorn and em­mer wheat, ju­jubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cat­tle. Res­i­dents of the later pe­riod (5500 BC to 2600 BC) put much ef­fort into crafts, in­clud­ing flint knap­ping, tan­ning, bead pro­duc­tion, and metal work­ing. The site was oc­cu­pied con­tin­u­ously un­til about 2600 BC.

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. So­phis­ti­cated ir­ri­ga­tion and wa­ter stor­age sys­tems were de­vel­oped by the In­dus Val­ley Civ­i­liza­tion, in­clud­ing ar­ti­fi­cial reser­voirs at Girnar dated to 3000 BE, and an early canal ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem from about 2600 BC.

Pak­istan is one of the world’s largest pro­duc­ers and sup­pli­ers of the fol­low­ing ac­cord­ing to dif­fer­ent sources i.e. the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the United Na­tions:

Chick­pea (2nd), Apri­cot (6th), Cot­ton (4th), Milk (3rd), Date Palm (5th), Sug­ar­cane (5th), Onion (7th), Kin­now, man­darin or­anges, cle­men­tine (6th), Mango (4th), Wheat (7th) and Rice (14th)

Pak­istan ranks eighth world­wide in farm out­put, ac­cord­ing to the List of coun­tries by GDP sec­tor com­po­si­tion.

The most im­por­tant crops are wheat, sug­ar­cane, cot­ton, and rice, which to­gether ac­count for more than 75% of the value of to­tal crop out­put.

Pak­istan’s largest food crop is wheat. With the coun­try an­tic­i­pat­ing record pro­duc­tion of 25.4 mil­lion tonnes of wheat in 2014, FAO ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over ris­ing ce­real pro­duc­tion in Pak­istan in 2014

In a spe­cial re­port about Pak­istan, the FAO said the of­fi­cial fore­cast for wheat pro­duc­tion had been re­vised up­wards by five per cent from last year’s out­put, mainly be­cause of a slight ex­pan­sion in the area un­der cul­ti­va­tion, favourable weather con­di­tions dur­ing Rabi sea­son in the main wheat­pro­duc­ing prov­inces of Pun­jab and Sindh and am­ple sup­ply of fer­til­izer and wa­ter.

Har­vest­ing of the crop be­gan in Sindh and south Pun­jab in late March and was ex­pected to con­tinue un­til midJune in north Pun­jab.

The FAO ex­pected the to­tal ce­real pro­duc­tion to rise by four per cent this year as com­pared to last year. The to­tal pro­duc­tion of ce­real crops (wheat, rice, maize and oth­ers) was es­ti­mated to be 40.63m tonnes as com­pared to 39.17m tonnes in 2013.

The re­port said that early prospects for the maize crop were good and the pre­lim­i­nary fore­cast pointed to an ag­gre­gate out­put, in­clud­ing the spring and Kharif sea­sons, of about 4.8m tonnes. This was slightly above the out­put of last year be­cause of an­tic­i­pated higher plant­ings in re­sponse to sus­tained de­mand from the feed in­dus­try.

About the rice crop, the re­port said the plant­ing for the main Kharif sea­son would start in late June and has of­fi­cially been fore­cast to in­crease to 2.8m hectares, slightly greater than the av­er­age for the pre­vi­ous year.

As­sum­ing good weather con­di­tions and ad­e­quate avail­abil­ity of wa­ter, the FAO ten­ta­tively fore­casts the ag­gre­gate rice pro­duc­tion of 9.8m tonnes, which was greater than last year’s out­put.

Due to de­fi­cien­cies in wheat pro­duc­tion for the two pre­vi­ous years, wheat im­ports for the al­most com­pleted 2013-04 mar­ket­ing year were es­ti­mated to have in­creased con­sid­er­ably, to 900,000 tonnes.

Pak­istan is the world’s fifth largest rice ex­porter and with a good rice pro­duc­tion in 2013, rice ex­ports this year have been fore­cast at 3.3m tonnes, about six per cent greater than the above-av­er­age fig­ure for last year.

Ac­cord­ing to the FAO re­port, prices of wheat and flour sta­bilised in most mar­kets with the on­set of the 2014 har­vest. Early con­cerns about a re­duc­tion in this year’s out­put and low stocks un­der­pinned prices in pre­vi­ous months.

But, over­all the wheat and flour prices re­mained at record lev­els, sub­stan­tially above those of a year ear­lier. In March, re­tail prices of wheat and flour in the La­hore mar­ket were 30 and 15 per cent above last year’s prices.

In March, the na­tional con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) was up by 8.5 per cent as com­pared to the same month last year. Com­pared to last year, the food com­po­nent of the CPI in­creased by 9.3 per cent and the non-food com­po­nent rose by 8 per cent.

The re­port notes that al­though over­all the food se­cu­rity con­di­tions re­mained sta­ble, food in­se­cu­rity per­sisted in some ar­eas, par­tic­u­larly Tharparkar district of Sindh.

Pak­istan is a net food ex­porter, ex­cept in oc­ca­sional years when its har­vest is ad­versely af­fected by droughts. Pak­istan ex­ports rice, cot­ton, fish, fruits (es­pe­cially or­anges and man­goes), and veg­eta­bles and im­ports veg­etable oil, wheat, pulses and con­sumer foods. The coun­try is Asia’s largest camel mar­ket, the sec­ond-largest apri­cot and ghee mar­ket and the third-largest cot­ton, onion and milk mar­ket.

The economic im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture in the coun­try has de­clined since in­de­pen­dence, when its share of GDP was around 53%. Fol­low­ing the poor har­vest of 1993, the gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced agri­cul­ture as­sis­tance poli­cies, in­clud­ing in­creased sup­port prices for many agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties and ex­panded avail­abil­ity of agri­cul­tural credit. From 1993 to 1997, real growth in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor av­er­aged 5.7% but has since de­clined to about 4%. Agri­cul­tural re­forms, in­clud­ing in­creased wheat and oilseed pro­duc­tion, play a cen­tral role in the gov­ern­ment’s economic re­form pack­age.

Out­dated ir­ri­ga­tion prac­tices have lead to in­ef­fi­cient wa­ter us­age in Pak­istan. 25 per­cent of the wa­ter with­drawn for use in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor is lost through leak­ages and line losses in the canals. Only a limited amount of the re­main­ing wa­ter is ac­tu­ally ab­sorbed and used by the crops due to poor soil tex­ture and non­leveled fields.

Much of Pak­istan’s agri­cul­ture out­put is uti­lized by the coun­try’s grow­ing pro­cessed-food in­dus­try. The value of pro­cessed re­tail food sales has grown 12 per­cent an­nu­ally dur­ing the nineties and was es­ti­mated at over $1 bil­lion in 2000, al­though su­per­mar­kets ac­counted for just over 10% of the out­lets. An­i­mal hus­bandry 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 na­tional herd is said to con­sist 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. Pak­istani dairy an­i­mals pro­duce 37 bil­lion litres of milk (mak­ing Pak­istan the 3rd 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 skins and hides. Fish­eries 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. Aqua­cul­ture is also a rapidly de­vel­op­ing in­dus­try in Pak­istan. The Pun­jab Prov­ince has demon­strated rapid growth in fish farm­ing. Forestry 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.

Afghanistan Afg. 50 Aus­tralia A$ 6 Bangladesh Taka 65 Bhutan NU 45 Canada C$ 6 China RMB 30 France Fr 30 Hong Kong HK$ 30 In­dia Rs. 65 Ja­pan ¥ 500 Korea Won 3000 Malaysia RM 6 Mal­dives Rf 45 Myan­mar MMK10 Nepal NcRs. 75 New Zealand NZ$ 7 Pak­istan Rs....

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