Agriculture in Pakistan


English: Wheat fields near Hasilpur in Punjab,...
Pakistan's principal natural resources are arable land and water. About 25% of Pakistan's total land area is under cultivation and is watered by one of the largest irrigation systems in the world. Pakistan irrigates three times more acres than Russia. Agriculture accounts for about 21.2% of GDP and employs about 43% of the labor force. In Pakistan, the most agricultural province is Punjab where wheat and cotton are the most grown. Some people also have mango orchards but due to some problems like weather, they're not found in a big range.
The most important crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output. Pakistan's largest food crop is wheat. In 2005, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat, more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and nearly as much as all of South America (24,557,784 metric tons), according to the FAO.[5] The country is expected to harvest 25 to 23 million tons of wheat in 2012.
Pakistan has also cut the use of dangerous pesticides dramatically.[6]
Pakistan is a net food exporter, except in occasional years when its harvest is adversely affected by droughts. Pakistan exports rice, cotton, fish, fruits (especially Oranges and Mangoes), and vegetables and imports vegetable oil, wheat, pulses and consumer foods. The country is Asia's largest camel market, second-largest apricot and ghee market and third-largest cotton, onion and milk market.
The economic importance of agriculture has declined since independence, when its share of GDP was around 53%. Following the poor harvest of 1993, the government introduced agriculture assistance policies, including increased support prices for many agricultural commodities and expanded availability of agricultural credit. From 1993 to 1997, real growth in the agricultural sector averaged 5.7% but has since declined to about 4%. Agricultural reforms, including increased wheat and oilseed production, play a central role in the government's economic reform package.
Outdated irrigation practices have lead to inefficient water usage in Pakistan. 25 per cent of the water withdrawn for use in the agricultural sector is lost through leakages and line losses in the canals. Only a limited amount of the remaining water is actually absorbed and used by the crops due to poor soil texture and unlevelled fields.[7]Much of the Pakistan's agriculture output is utilized by the country's growing processed-food industry. The value of processed retail food sales has grown 12 percent annually during the Nineties and was estimated at over $1 billion in 2000, although supermarkets accounted for just over 10% of the outlets.[8]
The Federal Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued major crop yields at Rs.504,868 million in 2005 thus registering over 55% growth since 2000[9] while minor crop yields were valued at Rs.184,707 million in 2005 thus registering over 41% growth since 2000. The exports related to the agriculture sector in 2009–10 are Rs 288.18 billion including food grains, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, fisheries products, spices and livestock.[10]


According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan,[11] the livestock sector contributes about half of the value added in the agriculture sector, amounting to nearly 11 per cent of Pakistan's GDP, which is more than the crop sector. The leading daily newspaper Jang reports that the national herd consists of 24.2 million cattle, 26.3 million buffaloes, 24.9 million sheep, 56.7 million goats and 0.8 million camels. In addition to these there is a vibrant poultry sector in the country with more than 530 million birds produced annually. These animals produce 29.472 million tons of milk (making Pakistan the 4th largest producer of milk in the world), 1.115 million tons of beef, 0.740 million tons of mutton, 0.416 million tons of poultry meat, 8.528 billion eggs, 40.2 thousand tons of wool, 21.5 thousand tons of hair and 51.2 million skins and hides.[12]
The Food and Agriculture Organization reported in June 2006 that in Pakistan, government initiatives are being undertaken to modernize milk collection and to improve milk and milk product storage capacity.[13]The Federal Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.758,470 million in 2005 thus registering over 70% growth since 2000.[9][dead link]


Fishery and fishing industry plays an important role in the national economy of Pakistan. With a coastline of about 1046 km, Pakistan has enough fishery resources that remain to be fully developed. It is also a major source of export earning.


About only 4% of land in Pakistan is covered with forest. The forest of Pakistan are a main source of food, lumber, paper, fuelwood, latex, medicine as well as used for purposes of wildlife conservation and ecotourism.
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