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The factors of low yield depressants in crop productivity

  1. Pakistan's economic scenario
  2. Industrial Restructuring Corp
  3. Poverty alleviation programme
  4. The factors of low yield

Agriculture needs potential stability, enlightened and consistent policies

By Dr. Syed Manzoor Alam NIA, Tandojam
Feb 07 - 13, 2000

It will be noted that our farmers are getting only one-fourth of the technically possible yield because of a number of deficiencies. The potential yields of crops are depressed by a number of factors, which have been given weight by an informal group of experts. Some of the factors are: Poor seed bed preparation, late sowing, poor quality of seed, inadequate and ill-timed irrigation, fertilizer, weed competition, insect and disease control, cultural practices and harvesting losses. The yield of crops in Pakistan is considerably low as compared to other advanced countries. There are several physical causes for the low yield. The major cause is shortage of water. The irrigation supply does not meet the crop water needs for optimum yields. The volume of water supply is not matched with the time pattern to crop need. The aggregative shortage of water is estimated to be about 40 percent of crop consumptive use requirements. Fertilizer utilization is also very low which is generally considered about 30 percent of the optimum requirement. Seed used is not certified and very little control of pests and diseases is taken in to care. Waterlogging and salinity is another great cause for low yields. Cultural practices such as preparation of seed bed use of quality seeds, planting at optimum dates, weed control and water management can also improve the yields.

Pakistan area had been historically a food surplus territory by 1886, the combined Punjab India had the second place amongst the wheat exporting nations. This area was a formidable rival of America, Karachi was a main wheat exporter. It exported wheat to the extent of 340,000 tons per year. Uptil 1890, Karachi remained the biggest exporter of wheat in the East. This condition started to deteriorate slowly so that after independence Pakistan had to import wheat for the first time in 1952. In 1951, the population of Pakistan was 33.8 million by 1990 it is estimated equal to 110 million and after another 10 years, say 2001 is expected to rise to 145 million. The cropped land area per person is decreasing below 0.56 since about 1980. This is much below the emergency restricted diet. For comparisons the yield of major crops in main growing countries are shown here in yield in kg/ha (1977-78)

Wheat: Pakistan (1319), USA (2128), India (1338), Canada (1999), Turkey (1774), Australia (17941), France (5057), Mexico (3483).

Rice (Paddy): Pakistan (2330), India (1977), Bangladesh (1939), Thailand (1750), Burma (1945), Philippines (1965), Japan (6166), USA (4945), Egypt (5208).

Sugarcane: Pakistan (36600), India (53383), Cuba (45968), USA (79201), Ecuader (68783), Egypt (83041), Mauritania (73443)

Cotton (Lint): Pakistan (312), India (155), USA (583), Brazil (255), Turkey (740), Egypt (681), Mexico (915), Sudan (499) Iran (563).

The territories comprising Pakistan in 1947 had a considerable agricultural potential. Pakistan inherited 31 percent of the irrigated areas, 25 percent of the area under cereals, 35 percent of the wheat area, and 32 percent of the rice area of undivided India. Before independence these areas were collectively known "as the bread-basket of India"

Pakistan agriculture needs potential stability, enlightened and consistent policies and the generous infusion of economic and technical assistance. The agricultural scientists have recorded for increase in per acre yield other than extension of area under wheat cultivation. There should be a complete coordination among the official agencies and the farmers should have full access to increased crop production technology and agricultural inputs. Growing of crops must be in time and greater use of machinery should be made available for sowing, cutting and threshing. There is a need for strengthening of proper link between extension workers and farmers to increase our agricultural yield. If farmers are provided proper guidelines for using fertilizer seeds, pesticides, insecticides and correct pattern of cropping and proper use of farm machinary, we can expect substantial increase in the yields. Pakistan is more or less an arid country with poor vegetal cover. Out of total area of about 79.61 million hectares, ten percent receives less than 100 mm rainfall while 74 percent gets less than 300 mm annually.

Despite rapid pace of industrializations, agriculture continues to be the largest single sector of the economy, making 26 percent of the GDP. Pakistan is basically an agricultural country and about 72 percent of its population comprises of the agriculturists and farmers who seat and toil in producing the food requirements of the entire nation and sizeable inforcing the foreign exchange resources through the export of farm produce. Besides employing 52 percent of the total labour force, they provide raw material for the domestic industry, especially textiles and sugar and also other small and medium scale industries. Poor producting segment results in huge imports of commodities at the time of shortage and that too at the expense of foreign exchange hence there is a need not only to increase per hectare yield of our major crops, but also the expenses of cultivated area so that our country may acquire self sufficiency in all food crops to meet the requirements of rapidly growing population as well as to compete with other developing countries in agriculture sector.

Agricultural development takes place only when increased productivity and output one reflected in rising real incomes and hence in rising standard of living of the people. Providence has blessed. Pakistan with about 235 million acres of land, of which 38 million acres are fit for agriculture and forestry. Soil largely comprises alluvial deposits and is generally fertile. Pakistan has a most irrigation systems consisting of 40000 miles of canals in length and 88600 water courses. Pakistan's share of Indus River and its tributaries is estimated to be 145 million acre feet of water out of the estimated total flow of 190 million acre feet. Of this about 102 million acre feet utilized, while 43 million acre feet runs waste into the sea. Abundant sunlight, fertile soil, precious water and dry climate are some of the important qualities of water, climatically Pakistan is well suited for agricultural production round the year with few physical limitation.