History and Performance of Agriculture in Pakistan

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Pakistan inherited an agricultural economy at the time of the Partition in 1947. The cultivated area particularly of the Punjab was regarded as the bread basket or granary of the Subcontinent. The development of agriculture was ignored in the initial years inspire of the fact that the agricultural sector was the largest single contributor to the GDP. It employed 80% of the population directly or indirectly, accounted for 73% of the foreign exchange earnings, provided raw material for cotton, jute, sugar and vegetable industries, served as a market for industrial products. The emphasis was, however, placed on the development of industrial sector. - PERFORMANCE:

Now we will put a light on the performance of agricultural sector. From 1947 to 1953, agriculture remained sluggish due to:
(a) Influx of refugees from India,
(b) Allotment of land to non- agriculturist refugees which reduced interest of farmers and,
(c) Lack of technological change etc.
In the six year programme (1951-57) which was suspended for two years before its completion, emphasis was laid on the establishment of industries. Agriculture remained stagnant during this period, rather declined due to an increase in water logging and salinity. Pakistan had to import over 1 million of tons of wheat in 1952 to meet the acute food shortage. The Planning Machinery then, realized that agriculture shouldn’t remain neglected and it should be developed along with industry. In the First Five Year Plan (1955-60), it was mentioned that with increasing population, rapid industrialization, growing urbanization and substantial increase in money supply, a constant and rapid increase in food grain was essential to maintain economic stability and to provide base for economic growth. This sector, however remain neglected till 1958 due to various reasons. The lack of adequate institutional credit system, absentee landlordism, uneconomic holdings, defective land tenure system etc., etc. adversely affected the agricultural productivity. The average annual growth rate of agriculture sector was 1.3% from 1955-58. While the population was growing at the rate of 2.6% a year. The population was thus growing at a much faster rate than the growth rate of agriculture. In the First Plan, the targets of increasing food grains production by 9% and cash crops from 15% to 33% were not achieved. The increase in the food supply was negligible. The increase in production of cotton was 2% and of jute 5% only. In the Second Five Year Plan 1960-65, the Government was determined to achieve self sufficiency in basic production raising dietary standards through increased supplies of fish, fruit, vegetable, livestock etc. expanding the output of cotton and jute to the maximum extent possible. In order to achieve the above objectives, it took a few effective steps like the agrarian reforms, adoption of modern technology, and provision of credit facilities to the farmers etc. The well phased policies both in agriculture and industry did bear fruit. The output of food grains increased by 27% against the Plan target of 21%. The production of cotton

More specifically; the agricultural sector plays an important part in Pakistan's economy by: • contributing 24 percent towards GDP;
• providing food to about 130 million people;
• earning about 60 percent of the country's total export
• providing employment to 47 percent of the total work
• providing the main source of livelihood for the rural
population of Pakistan;
• providing raw materials for many industries and a
market for many locally produced industrial products


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