Pakistan is faced with a high rate of population
growth. Over a period of time, the result has been too much pressure on
its limited resources of land and water. The introduction of Green
Revolution Technologies in the sixties, however, brought revolutionary
changes in the modes of agricultural production. Given limitation of
surface water, underground water (tubewells) were relied upon to augment
water supplies. Organic fertilizers gave way to chemical fertilizers.
Chemical pesticides were used for safe agriculture. Not only these
changes contributed to ensuring overall food security in the country,
also they set the agriculture sector on a path to development.
Agriculture is a dominant sector in the economy of
Pakistan, which accounts for one-fourth of the gross domestic product.
It absorbs over 50 per cent of total labour force of the country.
Agriculture sector is important to meet the food demands growing
population, to provide raw materials for the sustenance of the
manufacturing sector and food for the growing population engaged in the
economic pursuits. The agriculture has been able to play a stimulative
role in the overall economic growth of the country. Research shows that
the growth of agriculture sector has been very effective in reducing the
poverty in both rural and urban areas of the country. There is a
reinforcing relationship that generally exists between hydrological,
biological, chemical and mechanical inputs.
Agricultural production in Pakistan is still three to
four times less compared with some developed countries like Netherlands,
USA, Australia and Japan. The total cultivated area increased from 19.2
million hectares in 1965 to 21.5 million hectares in the current year.
Since area under cultivation can not be increased significantly
therefore due attention has been paid to the several agriculture inputs
in order to meet the problems of food, fibre and shelter for the growing
population. Most amicable and substantial efforts made to raise
agricultural production in Pakistan have been concentrated on physical
inputs, economic environment, research and education organization.
PHYSICAL INPUTS: The
main factors which directly contributed to larger increase in production
from land mainly comprise of fertilizer, improved seed, plant protection
The fertilizer use in Pakistan received an impetus with the introduction
of the fertilizer responsive, the high yielding varieties of wheat, rice
in mid-sixties, expansion in cultivated area especially of wheat,
increase in irrigation water supplies and public sector support in terms
of credit, subsidies, etc. The growth in fertilizer use in Pakistan is
one of the most important success stories in the field of agriculture.
The single most important input played pivotal and vantage role in
boosting the yield and production of all types of crops and helped in
achieving the almost desired goals of increase in grain production of
not only food crops but also of cash crops of the country. Such increase
in crop productivity is also possible by the use of balanced doses of
appropriate fertilizer. The ratio is 3:1 against requirement of 2.1 for
obtaining optimum yield. It has been observed that the consumption of
fertilizer in the country is at the rate of 114 kg per hectare compares
unfavourably with 599 kg in Netherlands, 467 kg in Germany, 431 kg in
Japan, 405 kg in Egypt, 309 kg in France and 220 kg in Italy.
This minimum rate of fertilizer i.e. 114 kg per
hectare has caused the lowest yield of crops compared to other countries
of the world. The production of wheat in kg/hec. in the world is 2520,
France 6390 and Pakistan 1760. Rice yield in the world is 3571, Egypt
7659 and Pakistan 2369. Maize yield in the world is 3980, Romania 8487
and in Pakistan 1357. Seed cotton yield in the world is 1603, Egypt 2508
and in Pakistan 1629. Sugarcane yield in the world is 61591, Egypt is
103,637 and Pakistan 46,025. Tobacco yield in the world is 1558, Japan
is 2807 and in Pakistan is 1724.
We do not have a well-developed scientific procedure
for providing advise to the farmers on the use of fertilizers in
different ecological zones. Chemical fertilizers happen to be the
largest single input in national agriculture and because of lack of
knowledge of the farmers on the use of fertilizers effectively billions
of rupees are lost annually through improper applications. Also small
and medium farmers find it difficult to obtain credit for the purchase
of fertilizers. In order to maximize the efficiency of fertilizer use,
the placement of fertilizer, the time and method of application and
interaction with other inputs like water, land preparation, seed rate
and weeding should be explored for the guidance to the farmers.
Seed plays a unique role among the various agricultural inputs. The
improvement and efficiency of all the inputs is largely dependent on the
quality of seed used. The improved seed played an important role to
increase the agricultural production. High yielding varieties of wheat
and rice tremendously increased output. Wheat production was increased
from 8691 thousand metric tons in 1975-6 to 20156 thousand metric tons
in 2001-02, and rice production was increased from 2617 thousand metric
tons to 5020 thousand metric tons in the same years. However, it was
observed that average crop yield per hectare is 2.5 to 5.8 times less
than the developed countries.
To increase the crop production small and medium
farmers should be given due attention for the supply of improved seed in
order to boost up the crop production on national levels. The supply of
good quality of seed should be consumed through an effective
organization of a scientifically based seed production system to
incorporate standardization if all steps involving variety evaluation
approval and release of variety, setting up of seed multiplication chain
starting from pre-basic seed and leading to the production of the basic
and certified seed, seed processing, seed quality control, appropriate
storage and setting up of the distribution and marketing systems are
taken into account. The cohesion and the coordination of the various
segments of seed multiplication and distribution is also the necessity.
There is no organized seed industry to meet full requirements of the
farmers. Hardly 9-10 percent of wheat, 50 percent of cotton, 6 percent
of maize are met by the public sector.
PLANT PROTECTION: Plant
protection measures play very important role for the modernization of
country's agriculture. Pests and diseases had always taken heavy toll of
agricultural production. Protection of plants from pests and diseases is
essential to obtain beneficial effects of fertilizers and other inputs.
Plant protection is an expensive input but the returns are also high.
Serious thought to adoption of plant protection measures was given when
widespread attack of pests and diseases on crops was experienced and
vitiated. Availability of necessary pesticides and equipment for plant
protection measures was therefore considered very essential. According
to a study conducted by IRRI between 1964 and 1979, it was concluded
that rice yield could be increased by 2.5 times if the proper pest
management practices were followed. Proper use of plant protection
measures increases yield per hectare. Post-harvest losses are high due
to inadequate harvesting equipment and lack of post-harvest technology.
Plant protection measures in Pakistan currently
comprise largely of the use of pesticides, which has grown from about
915 tons in 1981 to 3,455 tons in 1985 and from 27,961 in 1993-94 to
37,470 tons in 2000. The practice of protecting crops against pest and
diseases in the past decade has increased very rapidly with the result
that the consumption of pesticides has increased to 43,373 tons in 1995
as against 5,000 in 1982. There is a need for the maintenance of an
efficient crop protection service that covers the technical, social and
economical aspects of plant protection.
IRRIGATION WATER: Pakistan's
agriculture is mostly dependent on irrigation. It accounts for 76
percent of the total irrigated land in Pakistan against 25 percent for
India and 35 percent for Indonesia. Irrigated land has increased from
12.5 million hectares in 1967-68 to nearly 17 million hectares in
2001-2002. Importance of irrigation system to the agriculture sector and
consequently the whole economy is considerable and needs no emphasis.
Much of the increase in agriculture production since the mid 1960s had
been due to investments in the irrigation system (surface and ground
water). Increase in the supplies of water and improvements in the
timeliness of the delivery were instrumental in increasing yields due to
use of higher quality inputs such as HYVS and increasing the use of
complementary inputs such as fertilizer. It is said that in developing
agricultural countries 70% water is used for irrigation of crops, 20%
for industry and the rest 10% for the domestic use including for
drinking purposes. Water use for irrigation purposes in Pakistan is
quite high and inefficient rather wasteful. Currently, water logging has
affected about 8.2 mha of land, whereas about 6.3 mha of land is
affected with salinity of varying scale.
More than 80% of the cultivated area in Pakistan is
dependent upon irrigation and rest of the area is by and large rainfed.
Irrigation is responsible for over 90 per cent of the agriculture
production. Of the annual average flow of 142 MAF of the three western
rivers of Indus system allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters
Treaty 1960, but only about 92 MAF is being delivered through canals.
The total cultivated areas are being fed by Tarbella, Mangla and Chashma
reservoirs, 23 barrages, 12 inter-river link canals and 43 main canals.
Estimates show that about 60 per cent of water is lost during
conveyance. Through canals, distributors and water courses. Water
available from tubewells through ground water pumpage amounts to 45 MAF.
The water requirement per acre per year for wheat is 13 inches, cotton
26 inches, rice 36 inches, sugarcane 53 inches and maize 14 inches.
At present, about 60 per cent of water is lost
through conveyance from rivers to the farmers and to the fields. To
reduce the losses the measure taken by OFWM programme included only
watercourse lining, concrete control structures and precision land
leveling but not much has been alone to improve the canals. Thus
improvement in the efficiency of water use are to be given high
The progress of agriculture in the developing countries including
Pakistan over the last 2 decades reveal that the mechanization has
played a vital role in boosting the agriculture production. In this
context, tractors, tubewells and other farm machinery implements have
greatly helped in increasing the cultivated areas, cropped areas,
cropping intensity and consequently the crop production of the country.
For instance cropped area in the country has increased from 18.02
million hectares in 1975-76 to 22.14 million hectares in 2001-2002. The
most popular farm mechanization in Pakistan has been tubewells,
tractors, threshers and implements.
Mechanization has become essential to intensify
cultivation and increase the speed of pre-harvest and post-harvest
operations. The use of agricultural machinery for the development or
reclamation of new land, cultivation, ploughing, ridging, sowing and
harvesting of crop is gradually increasing.
Agricultural marketing: Increasing yield requires a
lot of administrative over hand in input marketing practices. Absence of
facilities for marketing are considered constraints on agricultural
production. The growers and consumers suffer at the hands of middle men
in any important marketing system. It needs improvement in extension
services so that the results achieved at research farm stations can be
replicated in nook and corner of the agriculture activity.
of storage capacity could greatly slow down buying and procurement
activities and consequently the storage problem is shifted to the
farmers, where the majority do not have the space to store the produce
in homes and is thus left in the field or improperly stood, subjecting
the produce to deterioration and thereby causing reduction in the value
of the production. There should be storage facilities for all sorts of
food grains, vegetables and fruits.
Agricultural research and extension service is very
essential for development of agriculture in the country. It is also
necessary to improve both quality and quantity of scientific manpower in
the domain of agriculture with a view to catering for
improvement/development of research capabilities of agriculture research
institutions of the country. The majority problems in the field of
agricultural development necessitated improvement in extension services
in coverage and quality.
plays an important role directly and indirectly in generating economic
growth. The importance of agriculture to the economy is seen in three
ways; firstly, it provides food for consumes and fibres for domestic
industry; secondly, it is a source of scare foreign exchange earning and
thirdly, it provides market for industrial food. Agriculture has a
strong backward linkages and forward linkages. It contributes about 24.8
percent of the gross domestic product and employs almost half of the
national labour force. The contribution of the agriculture sector to the
gross domestic product through declined gradually since Pakistan came
into being from a level of over 59.9% in 1949-50 to about 24.8% in
2001-02, it still remains the major sector contributing 18 percent to
GDP is manufacturing followed closely by wholesale and retail sector.
The transport and communication sector adds 92.% while others 31%.
A major part of the economy depends on farming
through production, processing and distribution of major agricultural
commodities. It provides food, feed, fiber, fuel and industrial raw
material, employs more than half of the labour force and earns foreign
export of primary commodities like cotton, rice and agro-based products
like textiles. In foreign trade, it is the agriculture again, which
dominates through exports of raw products like rice, cotton,
semi-processed and processed products like cotton yarn, cloth, carpets,
leather products. Agriculture is essential for sustainable improvements
in internal and external balances. Agriculture is equally crucial to
industry. Agriculture has the potential to contribute move to total
revenue. Until recently, neither agricultural incomes nor agricultural
holdings were taxed.