“Agriculture is the of process of cultivation of land or soil for production purpose”. Agriculture plays a very vital role for economy of Pakistan and its development. 48% of labour force is engaged directly with agriculture. So it is the main source of living or income of the major part of economy population. About 70% of population is relates to agriculture directly or indirectly. Agriculture is the major source of food of huge population of Pakistan. Agriculture is also the major source of provision of raw martial to industrial sector of Pakistan. Its contribution towards GDP is about 25% which is higher than contribution of any other sector. Following are the main points of importance of agriculture for Pakistan economy.
Source of employment:
Pakistan as developing economy the employment on consistent level has much importance. In this behalf agriculture has much importance because it provides employment directly or indirectly to the public. Employment directly affects the GSP of economy as well as the per capita income. With the increase in per capita income living standard increases, higher hygiene facilities & better education facilities are also increases. All these signs are the factors of economic development. So we can say that agriculture has a great contribution toward economic development by providing the employment.
Population growth rate of Pakistan is increasing rapidly. According to UNDP human development report population growth rate of Pakistan is 2% per year. So with the rapidly increasing population the food requirement is also increasing rapidly. In this behalf agriculture is the only the major sector which is the meeting the increasing requirement of food. It also reduces the import of food from other economies. So we can say that agriculture sector is playing very vital role in development of Pakistan by providing the food for massive population as well as supporting the economic growth.
Contribution in exports:
Major exports or cash crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice and cotton. 9.8 billion Bales of cotton are produced per year. Rice crop is produced 4.3 million ton per year. These agricultural commodities are exported to various countries against foreign exchange. This foreign exchange is utilized for the import of industrial or technological equipments such as machinery or automobiles. Further this foreign exchange is utilized to improve the infrastructure of economy or for improving the other sector of economy like education, health and investments.
Raw material for industries:
Industries have great importance for the development of any country specially for developing economies like Pakistan. Industries need raw material to produce finish goods. In Pakistan agriculture provides raw material to industries. Cotton is very important agricultural production which is also major export of Pakistan. It is used as raw material in textile industries. The production of these textile industries is exported to various countries against foreign exchange. Live stock is also an agricultural sector. It also plays very important role to export goods by providing the raw material to various industries like sports goods industries and leather industries. So in this way agriculture helps to Pakistan economy and its growth toward development.
Infrastructure plays very important role to development of any economy. It is fuel to the economy development. Well organised infrastructure is a key to development because of quick means of transportation of agricultural goods or commodities (raw material or finish goods) and communication. On distribution purpose of agricultural products good and quick means of transportation are required this intends to improve the infrastructure rapidly. So agriculture play important role to the development of transportation for the purpose of distribution of goods.
Increase in GDP level:
Agriculture has huge contribution toward GDP of Pakistan economy. it contributes about 25% of total GDP, which is larger than other sectors of Pakistan. Increase in GDP shows the developing progress of the economy. It has played very important role since independence toward GDP of Pakistan. Now agriculture is the 3rd largest sector of contributing to GDP. Live stock and fisheries are the huge sector of agriculture in order to providing the employment. Employment contribute to GDP, it is as with the increase in employment the per capita income will increase which results to increase in GDP rate of the economy.
Decreasing in rural poverty:
Agriculture sector has played very important role in order to reduction of rural poverty. Since 1975 to 2000 the GDP growth rate of agriculture was about 4.1% per year. Green revolution technology in irrigation, improved seeds and fertilizers played very vital role to increase the agricultural production which results in increase in GDP. Through this technology farmers with land gain the opportunity to increase their production. So in this way arable lands became cultivated lands and farmers got the market of agricultural products against some return.
Development of banking sector:
Agriculture has also contributed a great role toward the development of banking sector. As the government realized the importance of agriculture, it takes steps to improve the productivity of crops by providing the credit facilities to the farmers at low interest rates. With utilizing these credits farmers can produce more and more crops. For this purpose government established the ZTBL and other financial institutes for the provision of credit facilities. So in this way development of banking sector takes place.
Introduction of farm mechanization in agricultural sector had played very effective role in the development of economy. With the use of modern machinery in agricultural lands causes more and high quality production of crops. So the provision of raw material to the industries increases. Due to increase in productivity level the export rate of major export crops is increased which causes foreign exchange and economic development.
Use of Nanotechnology:
In agricultural sector use of modern technology like nanotechnology has played very vital role in the development of economy. This technology is used for producing the high yielding variety with high quality products. High quality products results into high rate of return to the farmers and the per capita income of farmer increases. Increase in per capita income shows the growth of economy toward development.
Role of dairy farming:
Dairy farming from agricultural sector has also played a great role in economic development. Livestock or dairy farming has huge contribution toward economic growth. The annual protein per capita is 18 kg of meat and 155 litters of milk. This is the highest rate in South Asia. Milk and meat and their by products have a good market. Farmers can receive a good return by producing and providing these products to the market. This process results into increase in per capita income as well as increase in national income of the economy.
Role of textile industries:
In economic development textile industries plays very important role. These industries totally depend on agriculture production in raw form. Cotton is the major crop which is used as raw material for these industries for production purpose. Further these products are exported to many economies against foreign exchange. So cotton as raw material from agriculture side contributes toward increase in NI (National Income). Textile industries also provide employment level which increases the per capita income of the person. So we can say that contribution of textile industries in the development of economy has much importance.
Role of sugar industries:
Sugar industry is also one of the major sectors of economy which has great importance according to development of economy. This is totally agricultural based industry. Sugar cane is produced on very large scale in many areas of Pakistan. This further supplies to sugar industries for the production of sugar and other by products which has great market. As large scale industries these also helps to provide employment level to the public. This results into increase in per capita income as well as improves living standards.
Rice Export Corporation:
Many areas of Pakistan have much importance according to the production of rice crop. In some areas the world most famous rice crop is produced. A huge quantity is exported to many economies against foreign exchange. This foreign exchange is further utilized in import of some other products like modern technology or machinery or this is utilized for the improvement of infrastructure of the economy.
Role of fishery:
Fishing industry plays very important role in the development of national economy. With a coastline of 814 km Pakistan has enough resources for that remains to fully development. This is also the major export of Pakistan.
About 4% of land is covered with forests in Pakistan. This is the major source of paper, lumber, fuel wood, and latex medicine. It is also used for the purpose of wildlife conservation and ecotourism.
Measure to improve the efficiency of agricultural sector for development of economy:
Yield collection problems:
The collection of yield from small farmers is very expensive & difficult process. So it is a great problem of marketing. There should be some easy way for collection of yield from the farmers.
Rough grading Products:
Commodities or products which are graded have higher price in the market. In Pakistan mixing of poor & good qualities are common. So grading problems must reduce.
The storage facilities in markets are not enough, seller can not store & wait for a higher price of the product due to lack of warehouses. Because of this some perishable produce suffers loss.
The middleman takes a big share of farmer crop without doing anything. The farmers borrow the money from them & sell their products at low prices. So this is a big loss to the farmers.
Our sources of transportation are insufficient, so regular supply of product is not possible to the market. The village are not properly linked to the markets. For proper provision of products to the market their must be sufficient as well as fast means of transportation.
Our farmers have to pay land revenue after the harvesting of each crop, so it forces the farmers to sell their produce at low price.
Market Advisory Committee (MAC):
MAC (Market Advisory Committee) at district and tehsil level should be set up to provide technical advice and information to co-operative marketing societies. The officers of co-operative & agriculture department should be the members of the committee.
The government should improve the markets system. Strict rules and laws should be introduced. The prices of agricultural products should be checked by the inspectors in the market.