Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. There is no doubt that the agriculture sector is the biggest breadwinner. Many governments planned to flourish in this sector but still, it is lacking behind its real power. If the government and the people who are concerned with agriculture take suitable steps then it sector only can lead Pakistan to a strong economy like China, Russia, the USA, and many other developed countries. In this article, I am going to share with you how the agriculture sector can be promoted in Pakistan. As well as how to promote the Agriculture sector in Pakistan.
Promotion of the Agriculture Sector in Pakistan
There is nothing in the budget for the people but we have seen a good thing in this budget. The federal budget has exempted taxes on agricultural machinery and other machinery and agriculture, which is a welcome development.
If the government pays serious attention to agriculture, we will be able to export billions of dollars worth of agricultural commodities. Sorry! We are importing agricultural commodities.
Last year, Pakistan imported 8 billion worth of food items, including more than 1 billion worth of wheat. This news was not good for me at all. It was also discovered that bread and non-Pakistani flour are made in two or three countries in our northwest as if our subsidized flour and wheat are smuggled to these countries.
Pakistan has 22.15 million hectares under cultivation, compared to 9.40 million hectares in which at least one crop was planted last year. Surprisingly, 8.29 million hectares are cultivable but not cultivated.
This area constitutes more than 30% of the total area under cultivation at present. If we cultivate only 25 to 30 percent of this 8.29 million hectare of arable land, then the country may have an agricultural revolution, but who will do it and why? There was no change in the area and the cultivable area.
From this, you can get a good idea of the apathy and inattention of the governments towards agriculture. And then Pakistan has the best irrigation system established by the British. Due to our negligence, it is having less effect.
Apart from this, there are many other challenges. The first problem here is the unavailability of water. In 1950, every Pakistani had 5,000 cubic feet of water per year, which is now 1,000 cubic feet.
Fifty-five to sixty percent of our livelihood is linked to agriculture, the textile industry is also linked to the agricultural sector. Irrigation in Pakistan is still mostly traditional.
Irrigation Drip and Pivot Irrigation are now used worldwide. In the drip system, water falls drop by drop through the thin plastic ducts into the roots of the plants, whereas in the Pivot system, a good area is irrigated in a few minutes by means of fountains.
It saves at least half the water and takes less time. A few pilot projects of Pivot Irrigation have been set up around big cities and also in districts where water is plentiful. The last part of the canal is called Tail. The flow of water in the tail part may be weak and the volume may be reduced.
There is also an epidemic of water theft. Water thieves steal water in collusion with the officials of the Anhar department.
The second major challenge of our agriculture is the timely availability of fertilizers. This time DAP was missing at the time of sowing of wheat. Let’s say this fertilizer is made only 40% in the country. Urea made in our country is also short in the market and is getting expensive.
Both of these fertilizers are essential for the wheat crop. I have heard that our urea fertilizer is also smuggled from Afghanistan to Central Asia. It is sold at a high price due to artificial shortage but the farmer is given a receipt with a controlled price.
Farmers cannot afford expensive fertilizers and most of our farmers are smallholders. The benefits of agricultural research and modern machinery are not available to progressive farmers. New methods of cultivating wheat and sugarcane have emerged.
Three and a half feet wide and very long beds are made for wheat. Wheat is sown on them. Drains are made for water on both sides. This process can save half of the water and increase the production but the farmers are not getting the machinery for making beds and drains.
And beyond these problems, the most important sector of agriculture, livestock, has also fallen victim to poor government policies, even though Pakistan is rich in livestock. We also have 42.4 million buffaloes, 51.5 million cows, 80.3 million goats, and 31.6 million sheep, but we are not far behind in the world halal meat market.
It is a bitter truth that Pakistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of milk production but still, we are spending billions of rupees every year on the import of milk and its products. On the other hand, we are engaged in importing seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and many agricultural products.
In any case, it is a shame that Pakistan has to import wheat and sugar. Even more tragic is the fact that our media, eminent anchor persons, economists, big bankers, and bureaucrats and their offspring are ignorant of agriculture, deprived of the importance and usefulness of their livestock, not the rural society. Understand, this is the reason that in Pakistan there is talk about mobile phones, computers, laptops, and luxury cars but there is no talk about the agricultural sector because no one is aware of it.
We can make Pakistan prosperous through better production per acre. Can move forward in eradicating poverty. Therefore, the government should show interest in solving the remaining problems of the farmers if it has taken the best step by imposing zero tax on agriculture.
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