Agriculture and Its Problems in Pakistan
From time Immemorial,agriculture has been the major occupation of the people of Pakistan.Even today agriculture is a major sector and occupies a very important place in the economy of Pakistan.It not only provides food for our growing population but is a source of raw materials for our principal industries as well as a source of foreign exchange for our government.
32% of our gross domestic products belong to this sector.It engages 53% of our employed labour .About 75% of our people are engaged directly or indirectly with this profession.A large part (about 10%) of Pakistan’s exports is made up of primary commodities ,including the major cash crops.In addition to this major large scale industries like cotton textile and sugar etc.as well as medium and small scale agro-based and cottage industries are directly dependent on this sector for their raw materials.
Following are the causes of our backwardness in agriculture:
1.Lack of Education
The farmers of our country are mostly un-educated and lack technical knowledge .They are unable to unde4rstand the modern scientific methods of agriculture and often remain ignorant of good means to protect and increase their yield.Their production is therefore low.
2.Lack of Capital
The majority of our farmers are poor and they often live in a hand to mouth position.Most of them are always under heavy burdens of debts.So due to lack of capital they cannot afford to purchase modern scientific implements,chemical manures,improved types of seeds etc.Hence they can not attain the required standards.
3.Following the Old Traditions
Most of our farmers are still stuck to the old traditions of their fore fathers.The circumstances have compelled them to use the crude implements,because due to small holdings of land and poverty they are unable to acquire and use modern scientific methods.That is why their standard is lower than that of cultivators in developed countries.
4.Water-logging and Salinity
Due to excessive use of canal water,most of our cultivated lands have become victims of these two dangerous diseases.Every year ,salinity alone,is turning about 1,00,000 acres of arable land into marches and salt lands.Water-logging is no less injurious.On the other hand the measures taken so far are quite inadequate for such issues.
5.Uneconomical Land Holdings
Due to our law of inheritance,our farmers command very small pieces of hands which prove to be costly.A farmer cannot afford tractors and other machineries for a small piece of land and those his income is low.Hence his interest is converted to some other sector.
6.Scarcity of Water
Our farmers have to face many problems due to scarcity of water which is one our major problems.Large tracts of land estimated to be about 22 million acres is lying uncultivated due to shortage of water.Rainfall is uncertain and the existing irrigational facilities in our country are quite insufficient and need to be extended.
7.Land Tenure System
The land tenure system of Pakistan has creates a chain of intermediatries in between the state and the tenants.The system,instead of being conductive to agricultural development ,stands in the way of its progress.
In some areas of our country,especially in hilly regions,the upper fertile soil is being eroded by different natural agents of change .Thus the fertility is poor and soils are becoming less productive.
9.Lack of Organized Marketing
The marketing facilities for agricultural products in Pakistan are still far from satisfactory level.Our cultivators can not get just prices for their produce due to defective marketing organization. Moreover the chain of middlemen between the producers and ultimate consumers take a heavy share of their produce .Thus the cultivators do not take much real interest in increasing their product too.
10.Pests and Crop Diseases
Due to lack of agricultural education and methods of modern research,our farmers cannot control the various diseases of crops and attacks of pests and insects.The result is low yields.
11.Poor Means of Transportation
The agricultural activities in our country are performed in rural areas,but most of our villages have no road or railway links with our markets.So farmers have to face innumerable hardships to sell their products.Hence the farmers take very little interest in their profession and production suffers.
12.Lack of Credit Facilities
The resources required for agricultural operation are land,layout,live stock,farm equipment, seeds,fertilizers,irrigation,transport etc.For the convenient and timely procurement of these resources the farmers must have easy access to credit.The A.D.B.P and commercial banks provide loans to the farmers which are insufficient because our farmers are very poor.
13.Low Yield Per Acre
Due to the above mentioned facts ,it is clear that the yield per acre of various crops in our country is comparatively low than of the other countries.Hence we are backward agriculturally.