Pakistan has missed the growth target for the agriculture sector, which grew only 3.3% against the target of 4.1% set for the ongoing fiscal year 2012-13. The growth rate is even less than last fiscal year, during which it touched 3.5%.
According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13, the agriculture sector exhibited growth of 3.3% during 2012-13 on the back of growth in agriculture related sub-sectors. Crop production grew 3.2%, livestock 3.7%, forestry 0.1% and fishing 0.7%.
During the period, weather conditions and a creeping water crisis had an adverse impact on Kharif crops, which decreased the output of rice and cotton crops.
Cotton ginning showed negative growth of 2.9% in 2012-13, against positive growth of 13.8% during the same period last year.
The livestock sector, which has a 55.4% share in the agriculture sector, grew 3.7% in 2012-13. The fisheries sector grew only 0.7%, as against last year’s growth of 3.8%. The forestry sector also posted nominal growth of 0.1% this year, as compared to growth of 1.7% last year.
The production of lentils, onions, moong and maash decreased by 11.8%, 9.2%, 4.0% and 2.8% respectively, requiring more area to be sown in order to increase production and meet local demand. These items are used by a large segment of population as staple diet.
During 2012-13, the availability of water – an essential input for Kharif crops – was 14% less than normal supply. Similarly, water availability during the Rabi season was 12.4% lower than normal availability, but 8.5% higher than last year.
Sector-wise classification revealed that the share of non-farm sector in overall agricultural credit disbursement increased by 7% during July-March 2012-13. During the period under review, Rs131.3 billion was disbursed to the farm sector, while Rs99.7 billion was disbursed to the non-farm sector.
An amount of Rs125.6 billion or 64% was extended to the farming sector and Rs71.7 billion was disbursed to the non-farming sector during the corresponding period last year.
Livestock contributed approximately 55.4% to agricultural value addition and 11.9% to national GDP during 2012-13, against 55.3% and 11.9% during the same period last year.
Gross value addition of the livestock sector at constant cost factor has increased from Rs735 billion in 2011-12, to Rs756 billion in 2012-13, an increase of 2.9%. Meanwhile, milk production increased 3.2% and meat production rose 4.5% during 2012-13.
During the period under review, a total of 103,822 tons of fish and fishery products were exported, which earned $232.4 million, against 90,087 tons of fish and fishery products exported last year, which earned $222.6 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2013.