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Agriculture in the country.

Pakistan's principal natural resources are arable land and water. About 25 percent 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 continues to be a prominent sector of the economy and it has nearly always accounted for over 20 per cent of the GDP of Pakistan. The sector at present employs over 17 million workers, who represent 42% of workforce. About 68% of population are living in the rural areas. About 65% exports are agro-based. Agricultural production is dominated by grain productions, which directly or indirectly depend on agriculture.


Agriculture is very important for Pakistan. It helps the country in the development of economy. Every country has a vast land, which is used for agriculture. Pakistan is also an agricultural country. Its total area is 7, 96,096 square kilometers. 70% of our total population is living in the villages. The major source of their living is agriculture. Agriculture employed 66% of the total workforce in 1950-51 but by 2006-2007, this figure dropped to 47.3%. This shows that people are now not interested in farming. They are doing jobs in industry and other fields. They are leaving farming and migrated to cities. Because cities have more chances of jobs. There are more factories and more development project offices. So, people move from villages and settle in the cities. Another reason in the villages is that, people are using tractor and machinery, so they need less people. In Pakistan, the best area for agriculture is Punjab. Its soil is very fertile and its irrigation system is very fine. Its total is equal to quarter of the total area for Pakistan. But it has 57% of the total cultivated land. In Pakistan, we have two main crops, which are Kharif crops and Rabi crops. Kharif crops grow in Summer while Rabi crops grow in Winter.

The most important food crops in Pakistan are as following:

1. Wheat:- Wheat is a major need of our country. It is grown on a large area. This crop is sown in October and November and harvested in April and May.

2. Rice:- Pakistan produces over 5.9 million tons of rice.

3. Maize:- Maize is a Kharif crop that grows in warm places.

4. Millet:-These crops can grow even in poor soils.

5. Pulses:-Pulses are good source of protein. The most important cash crop in Pakistan areas following:-

i. Cotton:- Cotton is our leading exports. Pakistan produces 10.8 billions a year.

ii. Tobacco:- Tobacco is also an important cash crop. The best tobacco growing areas are in Mardan and Peshawer.

3. Lives Stock:- Most of the milk comes from the buffaloes. Cow produce almost a million tons of milk a year.


Pakistan is one of the world's largest producers and suppliers of the following according to the 2005, Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations given here with ranking:
Food Items Ranking

chickpea 2nd
apricot 4th
cotton 4th
Sugarcane 4th
milk 5th
onion 5th
date palm 6th
mango 7th
mandarin orange 8th
rice 8th
wheat 9th
oranges 10th

Muslim world and twentieth worldwide in farm output. It is the world's 5th largest milk producer. The most important crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75 percent of the value of total crop output. Pakistan's largest food crop is wheat. In 2009, Pakistan produced 23,591,400 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).

At partition, Pakistan's water resources were at 5000 cubic meter per capita. The number gone below 1500 cubic meter per capita and further reduced to less than 1000 cubic meter per capita mark, officially termed water stress limit. Over 90% of country's water is used in agricultural sector and remaining is needed for drinking and for other activities. Pakistan exports rice, cotton, fish, fruits (especially oranges and mangoes), and vegetables and imports vegetable oil, wheat, cotton, 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.

Agriculture serves as a major supplier of raw materials to industry as well as a market for industrial products and also contributes substantially to Pakistan's export earning. This is mainly due to the presence of vast agricultural resources, which are mainly due to the country's geographical location and landscape where Pakistan is blessed with fertile land and varied weather. In addition the country has well irrigated system with the result that all types of agriculture produce are grown depending upon the climate and soil quality conditions. However, it is experiencing the problem of low and stagnant productivity on the one hand and fast growing population on the other hand.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, the livestock sector contributes about half of the value added in the agriculture sector, amounting to nearly percent of Pakistan's GDP, which is more than the crop sector. According to one report, the national herd consists of 24.2 million cattle, 27.3 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 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.

Pakistan agriculture and its related products are comprised of major and minor crops, vegetables and spices, fruits, edible oils, livestock, milk, poultry, fisheries etc. Pakistan's major and minor food crops are wheat, rice, maize, jawar, bajra, barley; cash crops are sugarcane, cotton, sugar beet and guar seed; pulses are gram, mung, masoor, matter, edible oilseeds are sesamum, groundnut, soybean, sunflower, canola, safflower, and cotton seed.

The production of some important crops for the year 2008 are below:
Crops Production in (000) tons

Wheat 22,109
Rice 4,996
Bajra 195
Jawar 188
Maize 2,279
Barley 96
Gram 761
Sugarcane 45,316
Cotton 2,488
Tobacco 84
Rapeseed & Mustard 229
Sesamum 33

The total production of all cereal crops come to 29965X103 tons. Ranked fourth in worldwide sugarcane areas and twelfth in sugarcane production it gives further credence to Pakistan's continued emphasis and growth in the sector. The production of sugar is about 4.29 million tons from nearly 77 mills. Within the agriculture, fruits, vegetables and floriculture have important impact on agricultural economy. The yearly production of fruits, vegetables and spices is 15 (57). The production of all fruits come to 622. The horticulture product holds huge market for exports. The relative importance of this sector can be gauged with high growth rate of exports of fruits and vegetables from Pakistan due to ever increasing demand in the existing and international markets. Some of fruits grown have great potential for exports, which are available in volumes, varieties and are of rich flavor. These are mangoes, citrus, grapes, dates, apples, peaches, and cherries. Other prominent fruits have enormous export potential are plums, pears, guava, etc. Among vegetables, tomato potatoes, garlic, ginger and onions are vastly grown in Pakistan, hold a large global market because of competitive advantage due to superior variety, volume and price.

The edible oil production (000 tons) in the country is 740 (only 30%). The imports amount of the oil is 1, 360 (about 70%) and consumption is 2, 100. Pakistan spend a huge amount on oil import bill. The production of vegetables (000 tons) are: tomato(426), potato((2025), onion (1,817), garlic(56), chillies (91), turmeric(38), ginger(41) The production of all types of vegetables come to 3048.

Fishery plays an important role in the national economy. It provides employment to about 400,000 fishermen directly. In addition, another 500,000 people are employed in ancillary industries. It is also a major source of export earning. The production (000 tons) of Inland (170) and Marine fish were (404). The seafood and fishery products are chilled or frozen fish, fish meat and exported to European countries. Important food fish species are tauna, sailfish, marlins, groupers, dolphin fish, catfish, sharks and some of these produce are shipped to Sri Lanka in dried form. Shrimp has a great scope in the fish industry. Pakistan produces huge quantity of shrimp.
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Publication:Economic Review
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 1, 2010
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