Saturday, October 22, 2011

Food and Agriculture sector in Pakistan

South Asian countries are mostly the rural-based countries, where more than half of their labor forces are engaged in agriculture.
It has been found out that the population was expected to rise at 1.6% during the year 2010.It has now been expected that by 2020, the population of this region will increase up to the level of 206 million in Pakistan. As a result, the demand for food grain like wheat and rice is expected to increase considerably with the growth of population and income.However, the huge technological phenomenon can fulfill the actual demand.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, agriculture is a very significant sector of the economy of Pakistan.Infact, the welfare of a large population depends on a resourceful harnessing of the agricultural source of Pakistan. The population of Pakistan has reached to a level of above 145 million and to fulfill the needs of the growing population, there is the need of a continuous increment through an enhancement in per hectare yields. It is thus, important for farmers to be able to use a balanced package of technology.
It seems that the private sectors have put efforts to support pesticides and fertilizers. This has showed a good output.However, a lack has still been found in the quality of seeds which has seriously started to affect the general production finances of the farmers.
It has been mentioned in a research that the overall agricultural GDP growth rate in Pakistan was below potential in the past several years.This low rate was the result of some provisional factors like the critical conditions of weather. Besides that, in the overall period of 1989-90 to 2004-05, the average growth rate was being calculated up to 2.3 %.However, it increased to 3% after a period of time but, again it was only 1.5% in 2007.
Top Production in Pakistan in the year 2008
Commodity Production (Int$1000)
Buffalo milk, whole, fresh 9957907
Wheat 3023994
Cotton lint 2983804
Cow milk, whole, fresh 2918026
Rice, paddy 2162313
Indigenous Cattle Meat 1406209
Sugar cane 1194856
Indigenous Buffalo Meat 1144793
Indigenous Chicken Meat 700330
Cottonseed 449528
Mangoes, mangosteens, guavas 427005
Hen eggs, in shell 417796
Indigenous Goat Meat 397314
Chillies and peppers, dry 386122
Onions, dry 371381
Potatoes 347249
Maize 311997
Indigenous Sheep Meat 304185
Oranges 302448
Dates 213193

It can be said that the agricultural rate has basically revealed mixed trends in the period of the current decade. The growth rate was up to 7.9% in 2005, which was good but, later the challenges like weather and water scarcity let the growth rate towards a critical condition. According to the researches, the annual agriculture growth rate of Pakistan from 2004-05 to 2010 is as following:

Year Growth Rate Target
2009-10 2.0% 3.8%
2008-09 4.7% 3.5%
2007-08 1.5% 4.8%
2006-07 5.0% -
2005-06 2.5% 4.2%
2004-05 7.9% 4%

As far as the total cereal production of 2010 is concerned, it has been calculated around 35 million tonnes, which is around 7% lower than that of 2009, which is at the same level of the 5 year average.However, the overall cereal exports for 2009/2010 were estimated till 3.5 million tonnes, compared to 3.8% million tones of the average of 5 year.


According to the latest studies, the recent floods have led Pakistan towards substantial damage of the crops. The floods have killed 200,000 livestock and have destroyed about 4.25 million acres of crop which were worth US$5 billion. Pakistan has lost major crops like wheat, cotton, rice, suger cane and millet. Besides that, much damage has been done to the new seed varieties which were developed over years. It has also been expected that the long-lasting floods would affect region’s ecology. Above all, it has been declared that the recent floods have changed the overall agricultural scenario of Pakistan.
In fact, the destroyed crops include about three million bales of cotton which were worth US$1 billion. Following that, Pakistan has lost sugarcane worth US$588 million, maize which were worth US$259 million, rice paddies of worth US$247 million and above 667,000 tonnes of wheat of worth US$190 million. Besides that, Pakistan has lost livestock worth US$1 billion and vegetables and fruits worth US$18 million have been lost.
The food and agriculture sector in Pakistan needs a lot of attention and hard work. The latest researches have declared that there is the need of an optimal utilization, management and development of water resources, in order to achieve self-adequacy in food grain production and exportable surplus.
The economy of Pakistan is based upon agriculture. Awareness must be brought up regarding the use of appropriate irrigation technologies. Strong steps must be taken to control the prices of food because with the crash of the present food inflation, the inflation numbers for the final half of the year 2011 are expected to come down. The domestic consumption of Wheat in the same year has been expected to go downward. According to a long-term forecast, the consumption of wheat is expected to outpace production by the year 2014/15.Pakistan could find itself in an adverse scenario of being dependent on imports, in order to meet the domestic demand. This situation is vulnerable to the price fluctuations on the world markets as well. Due to the floods, the price of wheat flour has been shorted by more than 80% in some areas.
The flood scenario has distorted the cropping systems, soil characteristics and the depth of underground water. There is a need of an active practice of purchasing agriculture produce directly from farmers in the poultry industry. Pakistan Poultry association (PPA) is concerned over the imposition of about 3.5% WHT on the production of agriculture. The efficiency in farming has become very necessary for the development of poultry industry in Pakistan. The industry is putting efforts to increase the productivity concerning the current food and agricultural scenario in Pakistan. The population of Pakistan directly effects the food requirements and the water which is required to gain the required grain productions. So, there is a need of an improved food and agricultural policy to control the food and agriculture scenario in Pakistan.