Pakistan is predominantly an agricultural economy. Agriculture in Pakistan is practiced by a large segment of population. About seventy percent of the population is directly or indirectly linked to agricultural occupation. Agriculture in Pakistan also engages about 45 % of the country’s labor force. According to the economic survey, share is agriculture in GDP is 19%. With the advancement in technology and modern trends, agrarian economy is moving towards industrialization.
Contributing factors to Agriculture in Pakistan
Agriculture in Pakistan is contributed by many factors. These are natural, geographical and social.
The climate of Pakistan in general is conducive to crop growth and development. Most of the areas of Pakistan receive plentiful sunlight. Climate in general is the major contributing factor to Agriculture in Pakistan.
The soils and geography of Pakistan also makes farming operations easy. Pakistan has a large area in the form of plains. These plains have best soils for the production of every type of crop. Potassium is sufficient in soils of Pakistan. Soils only lack nitrogen and phosphorus.
The major plus point in agriculture in Pakistan is the network of canals. Although Pakistan does not has ideal availability of water. There are shortages. But the network of canals is best in the world. One of the most extensive canal systems can be found in Pakistan. This canal system supplies water to far off places. Dams, barrages, link canals, headworks all make up ample water for adequate crop production.
Another benefit that Pakistani community has is the availability of cheap labor. Farming and post harvest operations are made easy by readily available labor force.
These were some driving forces for Agriculture in Pakistan.
Constraints and problems faced by Pakistani Agriculture
The constraints are many and are of natural, geographical, climatic, economic and managerial nature.
About 60 % area of Pakistan is composed of range-lands. These areas are unfit for cultivation. They areas must be managed to get some agricultural output from them. At present we are getting least from these areas.
About one fifth of the cropped area is rain fed. Agriculture in these areas is totally dependent on natural rainfall. Mostly this rainfall is obtained in Monsoon season. In case of low rainfall, the yield is severely affected. Application and implementation of effective water storing techniques is prerequisite in such areas.
Soil erosion is a major threat to Agriculture in Pakistan. Erosion both in the form of water and soil erosion is depleting the fertile lands of Pakistan. Agriculture in eroded land is next to impossible. Another constraint to Agriculture in Pakistan is water logging and salinity. These are also natural events. They suppress productivity of land. Several reclamation programs are under progress. However, more intense efforts are required for the betterment of Agriculture in Pakistan.
Water loss in canals, rivers and water courses results in deficiency of water. The extensive canal system also results in more evaporation and percolation of water. Similarly millions of acre foot of water is lost to Arabian Sea unused. Construction of more dams and water reservoir is one of the solutions of this problem.
Climate of Pakistan is conducive for the growth of weeds, pests, insects and diseases. It results in severe loss of crop and overall low yield. Similarly, Value addition gets lowered. Different methods of insect control need to be integrated. Post harvest crop operations need to be up to standards.
Marketing system of crops is below standards in agriculture in Pakistan. The middle man gets most of the benefit. Farmers and growers are left with less profit which results in loss of confidence to grow a particular crop.
Lack of knowledge on the side of farmers is again a constraint to Agriculture in Pakistan. Growers do not have technical know how of how to get maximum from the land. They stick to old methods of cultivation. Moreover, Lagers’ attitude is prevalent among the farmers. Transfer of technology and extension services face hurdles. There are many Agricultural Institutes in Pakistan, but still more research and extension is required.
These were some of the problems faced by Agriculture in Pakistan.
Major agricultural crops of Pakistan
Stable crop in Pakistan is wheat. It is grown in both irrigated and rain fed areas of the country. Wheat production in Pakistan has increased due to the introduction of new varieties and better fertility treatments.
Pakistan is among the major rice producing countries of the world and produces best quality of rice all around the globe. Rice also has peculiar aroma and taste. Rice export is a major contributing hand to Agriculture in Pakistan and a lot of foreign exchange is earned through it.
Cotton production is also great in Pakistan. Pakistan’s largest industry is textile industry. Textile and cotton products are exported to many countries.
Sugarcane is produced in abundance in Pakistan. But it mostly fulfills the domestic needs. More than 90 sugar industries work in Pakistan.
Pakistan is among the top producers of gram and peaches.
Citrus fruits of Pakistan have high demand in international market. Similarly mango varieties grown in Pakistan also stand high among worldwide mango produce.
Livestock and animal husbandry is a major part of Agriculture in Pakistan. The Neeli Ravi breed of Buffalo is one of the best in the world. Milk production in Pakistan is 5th largest in the world. Similarly one the world’s largest milk processing plant is working in Pakistan under Nestlé Ltd.
Production of Forestry and forest products of Pakistan is not that much high in amount. But still forestry has a share in agriculture in Pakistan.
Supply of water in Agriculture in Pakistan
A complete overview of the Canal System in Pakistan is also available on Book Hut.
Pakistan is shifting towards industrialization but agriculture is still a major contributor to economy. By using the agricultural resources in their entirety, Pakistan can make considerable progress.