Challenges Faced By Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector

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The economy of Pakistan depends heavily on agriculture. Importance of this sector is manifold as it feeds people, provides raw material for industry and is the base of our foreign trade.

Foreign exchange earned from merchandise exports is 45% of total exports of Pakistan. It contributes 26% of GDP and 52% of the total populace is getting its livelihood from it.

67.5% people are living in the rural areas of Pakistan and are directly involved in it. There are two main crops in Pakistan i.e. Rabi & Kharif.

Main crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice, maize, cotton and sugar cane.

These major crops contributed 7.7% last year. Minor crops are canola, onions, mangoes and pulses which contributed 3.6% as there was no virus attack last year. Fishery and Forestry contributes 16.6% and 8.8% respectively.

Though the agricultural sector is facing problems in Pakistan yet the major chunk of money comes from this sector. Let us shed some light on the problems of the agricultural sector of Pakistan of agricultural problems in Pakistan growth or development in Pakistan.

One being no mechanism has been adopted to eradicate the soil erosion and even after harvesting nothing is done to restore the soil energy. Therefore, the fertility of soil is decreasing day by day. The thickness of fertile layer of soil in Pakistan is more than 6 inches but the average yield is lower than other countries where the layer of fertile soil is only 4 inches.

Water in Pakistan’s rivers has gone down to perilously low levels. The reason for this is not just lack of rains. India is restricting water flow of rivers that originate from her and then flow into Pakistan, especially the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers that pass through Indian held Kashmir. Pakistan has raised objections to Indian water projects, but a World Bank-appointed and supposedly “neutral” expert rejected most of the Pakistani objections, while also advising India to make some changes to the dam’s height. Pakistani commentators, pressure groups and leaders are convinced that India is controlling the river waters to strangulate Pakistan’s agriculture, which would definitely affect Pakistani exports and increase its dependency on food imports.

Despite being the fifth richest country in water resources , Pakistan is estimated to be losing 13 million cusecs [approximately 368,119 cubic meters/second] of water every year from its rivers into the sea, as it does not have enough reservoirs or dams to store water. The archaic method of flood irrigation is still in practice in whole of the country which wastes almost 50 to 60 percent of water. A new irrigation system called drip irrigation system has been introduced in many parts of the world. This not only saves water but also gives proper quantity of water according to the needs of plants. However, this system is yet to implemented in our country if we are to maximize our water utility.

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