The Future of Agriculture in Pakistan
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.
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