.

PROFILE ASGHAR AZIZ SANJARANI
COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
SOCIETY POPULATION AND FOOD PRODUCTION
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ERP & DW DEADLY COMBINATION TO SUCCESS

 

POPULATION AND FOOD PRODUCTION

 

Food production by the year 2020 will have to increase by about 50%

 

By Dr. S.M. ALAM, Dr. M.H. NAQVI and 
M.A. KHAN, NIA, Tandojam

May 05 - 18, 2003
 

 

 

The humanity's future is at a critical stage as the population of the world continuous to grow at a high rate in the most food-deficit regions of the world. In 1750, the world population was estimated to be less than 1.3 billion. The population reached 2.5 billion in 1990, and 3 billion in 1990. The world population began to increase even more rapidly after 1960, due to continued high birth rates with decreasing death rates brought about by improved medical care and disease control methods. Many developing countries had 2-3% annual growth rates of their populations. Consequently, the world's population rose more than doubled between 1950 and 1995. The world population in 1995 was estimated to be 5.7 billion people and is expected to reach 6.3 billion by 2005. From 1995 to 2025, the world population was expected to increase by 1.4 per cent per year to 8.5 billion people. More than 95% of the anticipated population growth will occur in the developing regions of Asia, Africa, and South America countries. The combined population of these regions will increase from 4.6 billion people in 1995 to 8.0 billion people in 2025. In absolute numbers, Asia will add more people to its existing population than Africa, because Asia's population is already over 3 billion. Within the developing world, national populations are growing at very different rates. As countries grow richer, and infant mortality declines, so women have smaller families. In some developing countries, such as South Africa and Taiwan-women typically have families as small as those in industrial countries two children or fewer. Contrast some African countries where women typically bear seven or eight children. Population growth derives from an excess of births over deaths, aside from migration. Differences in rates of population growth today, are largely determined by levels and trends in the birth rate.

The United Nations have projected the population of some countries of world for the year 2025 and presented in millions are as: China (1469); India (1234); USSR (355); US (306); Indonesia (247); Brazil (291); Japan (131); Bangladesh (222); Pakistan (206); Nigeria (285); Mexico (174); Germany (54); Holland (57); UK (54); France (53); Vietnam (106); Philippines (108); Thailand (90); Turkey (100); Egypt (95); Iran (99).

Increased population not only increases the demand for food and fibre, but also reduces per capita area of land available for food and fibre production. Growing human population and consequently increase in food requirements compel us to look for more land resources. Uptil now, the increased demand for production was being met by putting more arable lands in cultivation. It is a true fact that world population has increase faster than that of cropped area from 1950 to 1975 and resulted in a drop in per capita from 0.241 to 0.184 ha. This situation is worse in densely populated Asia where population density is extremely high, population growth is increasing and undeveloped land resources are limited.

There is little land area that can be readily brought under economic agricultural production, additional land suitable for irrigation is limited and water is also limited. The natural resources available to grow food - land, water, and energy are finite in extent, and their use for agriculture is often in competition with other uses. Recent inventories suggest that 3.4 billion hectares, or 25% of the worlds land surface, in principle could be cultivated area is less than 11%. The potential for expansion of cultivated area is substantial, but much of this land is not where the people are; furthermore, its development could readily lead to drastic and irreversible resource deterioration both on site and off. A similar situation prevails for water. The currently 170 million hectares of irrigated land could be doubled, but not without tremendous investment and substantial risk. The obvious alternative for increasing food production is to increase production per unit of land. Both avenues must be pursued.

 

 

Food production by the year 2020 will have to increase by about 50% on top of the present levels to satisfy needs of around 8 billion people estimated to be on the Earth by that time. Most of the increase would have to come from intensification of agricultural production. The increased food and fibre production in the developing world, particularly Asia was brought about by the development and adoption of improved varieties, irrigation, fertilizers, and crop protection chemicals. From 1961 through 1990, world food production increased at an annual rate of 2.8%, while the population increased at 1.9%. On the other hand, world cereal production increased from 876 million tons in 1961 to 1,950 million tons in 1990. In addition, production of tubers, fruits, vegetables, oil seeds and fibre also increased significantly and will need to increase in the future. Despite the unprecedented growth in food production over the last 30 years, about 790 million people in the developing countries currently suffer from hunger and malnutrition and 40,000 people die daily as a result of poor nutrition. The number of food-deficit countries has grown from 28 to 41 in sub-Saharan Africa, where out of every four persons is thought to be food insure. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has estimated that to meet the food requirements of the projected population in 2020, annual cereal production will need to increase by 57% from the current 1,950 million tons to an estimated 3,066 million tons.

According to World Bank (1992), projections, about 50% of sub-Saharan Africa's population and 37% of south Asia's population will be living in poverty in the year 2000. If adequate nutrition is to be provided to the people living in poverty, an additional 400 million tons of cereals will be needed. It was estimated that world cereal production should increase from 1950 million tons in 1990 to 3970 million tons in 2025. Based on these estimates, world production of cereals will need to increase by 57-103% to meet the food requirements of 8.0-8.5 billion people in 2020-2025. Similarly, production of non-cereal food and fibre crops should increase by 73-82%. The increased cereal production in the past 25 years was brought about by both an increase in the area cultivated and an increase in crop yield. Yields of major cereals wheat, rice and maize is increased by 50-70%.

Adequate and sufficient food supplies in the future will require food grain production to increase from current levels of 1,950 million tons to 3,100-3,500 million tons by 2025. In addition, production of root and tuber crops, fruit, vegetables, oil seed, and fiber crops must also increase by 40-50%. This is limited scope for expanding the cultivated or irrigated area in most regions of the world, so the additional food and fibre production must come from increased crop yields on the existing arable land.

PAKISTAN: At present, Pakistan population is nearly 145 million with growth rate of 2.61 percent. According to 1998 census, Punjab remains the largest province of Pakistan with 72.5 million people, followed by Sindh 29.9 million, NWFP 17.5 million and Balochistan 6.5 million. The population of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is 3.1 million. The largest city of Pakistan is Karachi with population of 9.2 million, followed by Lahore with 5.06 million and Faisalabad with 1.97 million. These three big cities account for 38.4 percent of total urban population of Pakistan. The fourth, fifth, sixth and the seventh largest cities are Rawalpindi (1.40 million), Multan (1.18 million), Hyderabad (1.15 million) and Gujranwala (1.12 million). The population of the federal capital, Islamabad, is 0.340 million. There are now 23 major urban centres having population of 0.2 million and above. The North West Frontier Province, Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory have slightly gained from 13.1 to 13.4 percent, 22.6 to 23 percent and 0.4 to 0.6 percent respectively while it has declined marginally for Punjab from 56.1 to 55.6 percent and for FATA from 2.6 to 2.4 percent. Balochistan has also shown nominal decline from 5.1 to 5 percent. The overall urban population has increased from 28.3 percent in 1981 to 32.5 percent in 1998, which means that every third person now lives in a city or town. Islamabad has the highest urban population since about two thirds of its population lives in the city, while FATA has the lowest urban population of 2.7 percent. Amongst the provinces, Sindh is the most urbanized province, where 48.9 percent population is living in urban areas. Three major cities, Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur account for 73.1 percent 35.7 percent of the total population of the province as a whole.

 

 

It was observed that Pakistan's population is increasing day by day, thus there is need to enhance the crop productivity, because agriculture is the single largest sector in Pakistan, which provides one-fourth of gross domestic produced product of the country and absorbs about 44 percent of the labour force, has more than 90% share. Foreign exchange earnings through the exports of processed and semi-processed products and employs about 48 percent of labour force. A large proportion of population (about 68%) lives in the rural areas of the country and performing useful work on agricultural fields. In this way poverty alleviation would depend purely on the development and alleviation of agriculture sector. The average annual growth in agriculture sector in the last few years remained at about 4.0 percent. But the development in agriculture is not at a speedy level, and not keeping pace with the ever growing population. This condition has bent the country to import for certain food grains, tea, palm oil and some other items fulfil the demand of the ever growing population of the country. Inspite of these drawbacks Pakistan is tackling the situation well having limited resources. Pakistan with good soil resources and favourable weather conditions has the potential to boost up the food production of the country.

The country has a geographical areas of 7.61 mha, and quality nearly 59 mha are reported unutilized and 22.04 mha as cultivated area. Thus, 37 % areas are cultivated and 9.10 mha as culturable waste. Efficient management of resources especially water, inputs as fertilizers and certified seeds create a favourable condition for crop productivity. Credit facility plays an important role in the promotion of agricultural growth. In the year 1997-98, the Agricultural Development Bank sanctioned loans to a credit of Rs.222.1 billion for the welfare of the farmers of the country. The representative of the farmers were not active and mostly remained absent from the meeting. This cause great difficulties in the interest of the farmers. On the other hand, the farmers of Punjab were benefited, and the loans distributes through representative to them were very much, and they played a positive role in the welfare of the farmers committees of the province. Cooperative societies also played a significant role in the economic welfare of the farmers. The total number of cooperative societies in the country was 37,001 of this 32,456 (87%) were in Punjab, while only 388 (1 percent) in Sindh. Even in Balochistan, the number of cooperative societies were more than Sindh. The role of cooperative societies are declining day by day. However, it is the duty of the planners of all the four provinces to boost up the agricultural productivity of the country, through the application of modern technologies.

Agriculture is the single largest sector in Pakistan, which provides one-fourth of gross domestic produced product of the country, has more than 90% share. Foreign exchange earnings through the exports of processed and semi-processed products and employs about 48 percent of labour force. A large proportion of population (about 70%) lives in the rural areas of the country and performing useful work on agricultural fields. In this way poverty alleviation would depend purely on the development and alleviation of agriculture sector. The average annual growth in agriculture sector in the last few years remained at about 4.0 percent. But the development in agriculture is not at a speedy level, and not keeping pace with the ever growing population. This condition has bent the country to import for certain food grains, tea, palm oil and some other items fulfil the demand of the ever growing population of the country. In spite of these drawbacks Pakistan is tackling the situation well having limited resources. Pakistan with good soil resources and favourable weather conditions has the potential to boost up the food production of the country.

According to Federal Seed Certification & Registration Report (2002), the Pakistani scientists have developed and released about 364 crop varieties out of which 125 are of wheat, barley, maize and rice, 60 of cotton, 20 of sugarcane and 22 of major vegetable crops. About 95% of the area under fruit orchards is covered by the improved varieties. As a result of large scale cultivation of these varieties developed by the agricultural scientists, the yields of wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane crops have increased by 200-300 percent. Crop yields can be further increased as the farmers have so far exploited 40% yield potential of these improved cultivars. The national agricultural research system and agricultural extension system, therefore, must act now to transfer farm technologies and management interventions, which are critical for the high productivity and pay-off in the short run. This is the only way of our survival in the economic globalization era of the century.

The agricultural sector of Pakistan economy has shown promising performance during the past three decades and poised a major breakthrough. This sector is capable of sustaining food autarky for the country as well as becoming a major source of foreign exchange earnings. However, in order to harness the available resources to their full potential, there is need for more liberal but sound policies creating full confidence among the farming communities of the country. The performance of food products in the economy of Pakistan has been as under:

FOOD CROPS: The country has already attained capability of self-sufficiency in wheat, rice and sugarcane, whereas in oilseeds, pulses and livestock we are still deficient. At present, cotton, rice, fruits and vegetables are the products exported. The status of these farm enterprises is described below:

WHEAT: The production of wheat for the year 2001-2002 was recorded as 19.02 million tons obtained from an area of 8.3 million hectares. It also occupies 38% of the total cultivated areas. This quantity is sufficient to meet the requirement of the citizen of Pakistan. Some of the quantity was also exported to foreign countries.

 

 

RICE: Rice is the largest commodity after cotton. Pakistan, today is producing the finest basmati variety, which is liked all over the world. The introduction of high yield varieties of rice in the mid-sixties resulted in significant advances in its productivity as well as total production and there has been a consistent increase in acerage under the crop. Some agro-ecological shifts such as growing incidence of salinity and water logging also contributed towards increased cultivation of rice, as it was the only remunerative crop that would grow successfully in such environments. The total production of rice was attained 4.8 million tons in 2000-2001. The rice is an exporting item in the country. The per capita consumption of rice is 20 kg per capita.

CASH CROP: Cotton is one of the major agricultural exportable commodities in Pakistan. The annual production of lint cotton is about 10.9 million bales. It is an exportable commodity.

SUGARCANE: Sugarcane is an important cash crop Pakistan. The annual production of sugarcane is 48 million tons for the year 2000-2001 from an area of one million hectare.

OILSEEDS: The condition of oilseeds crops is not satisfactory. The edible oil is the commodity in which are at present dependent upon heavy imports. The total production of traditional and non-traditional oilseed stands at 447 x 103 tons annually.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Fruits and vegetables are important human food at all levels of development. As such vegetables are amongst the most important items of diet. Staple food of ours greatly consists of starch which has to be shifted and highly nutritioned based on fruits and vegetables if at all standard of health is to be maintained. The per capita availability of all vegetables and fruits are 39.1 and 39.8 kg respectively as against world standard of 70 kg for fruits. There exists a high potential for increasing of production of fruits and vegetables of various types for which efficient management and an assured market are pre-requisites. In Pakistan all types of fruits and vegetables are grown for which improved practices and ensured market is needed. The type of fruits grow in Pakistan are citrus, mangoes, guasa, dates, bears, banana, sweet papayas, driko, sufibers melons, pears, apricot, apples, grapes, almond, peaches, pomegranates, etc. The total production of fruits for the year 2000-2001 stands at 5892 x 103 tons.