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1- SUGAR INDUSTRY: POST WTO ERA?
2- IMPORT OF RECONDITIONED CARS
3- PRE-BUDGET PROPOSALS
4- REMEDIES TO INCREASE YIELD PER ACRE
5- PAKISTAN'S APPAREL INDUSTRY

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REMEDIES TO INCREASE YIELD PER ACRE

 

About 70% country's population are living in rural area and are directly or indirectly linked with agriculture for their livelihood

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By ASHIQUE ALI JOYO, HEC
Islamabad

Apr 12 - 18, 2004
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Pakistan inherited an agrarian economy at the time of independence in 1947. This sector remained sluggish from 1947 to 1953 and from 1953 to 1958 more attention was given to industrial sector. The agriculture sector remained neglected till 1958. The production could not increase with the increasing rate of population. The average growth of this sector was 1.3% while the growth rate of food grain stood 1.69 % as compared to population growth rate of 2.6%.

The agriculture sector has great importance. It provides food to the whole population, contributes 26% to the GDP, supplies raw material to industries. It is source of foreign exchange earning. About 70% country's population are living in rural area and are directly or indirectly linked with agriculture for their livelihood.

Although Pakistan is an agricultural country yet it imported wheat and edible oil as shown in Table -1.

Table -1
IMPORT OF WHEAT AND EDIBLE OIL
 FROM 1988-89 TO 1999-2000.

YEAR

WHEAT QUANTITY IN (000 TONS)

YEAR

EDIBLE OIL QUANTITY IN(000 TONS)

1988-89

1802

1988-89

858.7

1989-90

1603

1989-90

940.3

1990-91

627.3

1990-91

959.6

1991-92

1640.4

1991-92

1045.9

1992-93

2356

1992-93

1330.9

1993-94

1408

1993-94

1131.4

1994-95

2273

1994-95

1394.5

1995-96

1931

1995-96

1142.8

1996-97

2383

1996-97

1056.8

1997-98

4109

1997-98

1178.6

1998-99

2334

1998-99

1324.9

1999-00

1588

1999-00

1050.9

Source: GOP agricultural statistics of Pakistan 2000-2001 page No. 215-216.

 

 

In Pakistan yield per acre is very low as compare to other countries. The causes of low yield per acre are, sub-division of holdings, lack of credit facility to the farmers, old method of cultivation, use of poor seeds, water logging and salinity, poor irrigation system, lack of storage facility, illiteracy and lack of consistent policy.

There are various method for increasing out put of agricultural productivity. In this connection following methods/measures can be taken to increase yield per acre.

1. MANAGEMENT OF FARM RESOURCES

Land and water are the two major farm resources. The limited existing resources should be efficiently utilized, to meet the nation's increasing demands for various agriculture commodities. In this regard, the following points are discussed.

(I) SOIL MANAGEMENT

Soil deterioration occurs through wind and water erosion. This affects the soil health. Therefore, an appropriate soil management is imperative for increasing the output of agricultural sector. It includes land leveling, suitable preparatory tillage, manuring and fertilization, proper cropping rotation and eradication of weeds.

(II) FARM LAYOUT

It refers to the manner in which a farm is divided into fields and location and management of other fixtures, such as irrigation and drainage system, buildings and sheds, roads, fences etc. It is a matter of concern that most of the farms in Pakistan (22) have virtually no scientific layout. By managing layout in proper way, output of the agricultural can be increased.

(III) WATER MANAGEMENT

Irrigation is the life blood of agriculture in Pakistan. According to Economic Survey 2001-2002 (page 19) that the flows of water in rivers declined 30.8 percent. Therefore, an efficient irrigation systems is a pre-requisite for increasing agricultural production.

(IV) LABOUR MANAGEMENT.

In Pakistan about 50% of the country's labour force is engaged in agriculture sector. For the efficient utilization of this huge labour force, modern management skills have to be employed. The higher the labour efficiency, the greater are the returns from farming. This efficiency of the labour can be achieved by (a) enlarging the size of the farm business (b) planning labour distribution enterprise combination (c) improved labour management with the planning of work, incentives and training of the workers (d) farm work simplification.

 

 

2. CHANGING POLICIES

Affecting incentives changes in price policy, trade policy and fiscal policy are needed if agriculture in Pakistan is continue to grow.

(I) PRICE POLICY

It is a part of the structural reform. Agricultural output prices should be determined in the light of existing input prices of the market. In this way the growers can get reasonable price and would take interest for the better output of their farms which would increase the output of agriculture sector.

(II) TRADE POLICY

Trade reform policy can improve the agriculture product for the export purpose. The growers should be provided facilities for the exportable product such as cotton, rice etc. These items can enhance the foreign exchanges earnings of the country. Therefore, they may be induced by providing facilities for increasing the exportable product.

(III) FISCAL POLICY

It is formed by the government. The growers pay different types of taxes. But the other sectors of the economy pay a single tax. Therefore, there is need of tax reform. In this regard, all sectors of the economy should be treated equally in terms of the tax burden. This measure can increase the out put of agriculture sector.

3. RECOGNIZING THE ROLE OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Most sub-sectors of Pakistani agriculture have entered a post green revolution stage of development that requires new strategies to enhance input efficiency and to maintain and improve the quality of the resources base.

I. RESEARCH

Greater importance should be given to research on cropping systems of major food and cash crops. In this regard, greater attention to local conditions should be considered.

II. EXTENSION SERVICES

These services should be extended to the growers to keep them aware about the global changes in the agriculture sector.

III. EDUCATION

Greater involvement should be made in formal schooling which can raise the technical efficiency of the growers and improve the productivity.

IV. RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROVISION

Government's role in providing rural infrastructure needs to be strengthened. The increased revenue from tax reform and savings should be used to finance farm to village road construction which would improve the distribution of inputs and the marketability of outputs.

4. WATER LOGGING AND SALINITY

The Water and Power Development Authority was setup in order to reclaim the affected areas of water logging and salinity. The affected areas are 11 million hectares in Pakistan. It is therefore, suggested that an efficient management should be developed to reclaim the affected areas of water logging and salinity. This step can increase the output of agricultural sector

5. CONSOLIDATION OF HOLDINGS

In Pakistan about 68% of small farmers possess farms below the subsistence holding. Due to un-economic holding, the output of the agriculture sector cannot be increased and on the other side the income of the farmers will be improved. In this way, the revenue of the government will be enhanced.

6. EXTENSION OF AGRICULTURE CREDIT FACILITIES

In agriculture sector about 68 percent small farmers are engaged. Their propensity to save is low. This leaves farmers permanently in debit. It is, therefore, suggested that the credit facilities may be extended to them so that they may be able to purchase the input for their farms in time.

7. INTRODUCTION OF NEW VARIETIES OF SEEDS

Food crops as well as the other crops of the agriculture sector are lost 15% due to attack of pest and diseases. In this regard, new varieties of seed should be developed which must build tolerance and resistance of such pests. In this way, the output of the agriculture sector can be increased.

8. EXTENSION OF STORAGE FACILITY

There is lacking of storage facility in rural areas. During the harvesting season, the crop is lying on the earth. Heavy losses are occurred due to heavy rains and cyclones. It is, therefore, suggested that the storage facilities should be extended by the public and private sectors in order to store agricultural produce. This facility will be beneficial for the growers to sale their products in the market at favourable prices. At the same time, the public sector and the private sector will be benefited by getting rent from the growers of the storage facilities.