Climate change is one of the most pressing problems of our time. But what does climate change mean for Pakistan, a country that is already struggling with so many issues? In this blog post, we will explore the impact of climate change on Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock. We will also discuss what can be done to mitigate these impacts and improve the situation for those who are most vulnerable.
Agriculture in Pakistan
Pakistan is an agrarian country with about 58% of its population directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. The sector accounts for 21.3% of GDP and employs 42.6% of the labor force.
Pakistan’s agriculture is rain-fed, which makes it very vulnerable to changes in precipitation patterns. Climate changes are already affecting Pakistan’s agriculture sector, and are expected to have even greater impacts in the future. These impacts include reduced crop yields, increased water stress, and greater incidence of pests and diseases. Livestock are also affected by climate change, through changes in pasture and water availability, and increased exposure to heat stress.
Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on Pakistan’s food security, as well as on the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. It is therefore essential that the agricultural sector is made more resilient to climate change, through measures such as improved irrigation systems, better management of water resources, and enhanced weather forecasting and early warning systems.
Livestock in Pakistan
Pakistan is an agrarian country with 60% of the population directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture accounts for 21% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs 42% of the total labor force. The sector has strong backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy.
Livestock is an integral part of agriculture and plays a significant role in the rural economy of Pakistan. It is estimated that livestock contribute about 54% to the value addition in agriculture and about 11% to the national GDP. Cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels and poultry are the major livestock animals reared in Pakistan.
The livestock sector has been growing at a faster pace than the agricultural sector in Pakistan. The growth rate of livestock sector was 5.8% during FY17 as compared to 2.9% growth in agricultural sector.
The share of livestock in total value added in agriculture has increased from 30% in 1990-91 to 54% in 2016-17.
The main reasons for this rapid growth are:
(i) Changing consumer preferences,
(ii) Easy access to credit,
(iii) Government initiatives such as provision of subsidized animal feed and vaccinations, and
(iv) Increasing awareness among farmers about modern animal husbandry practices.
Livestock play an important role in providing draught power, manure for crops, food security and income generation; particularly
Climate Change and its effects on Pakistani Agriculture and Livestock
Climate change is having a profound impact on Pakistani agriculture and livestock. The country’s farmers are struggling to adapt to rising temperatures and more extreme weather conditions.
Pakistan is a largely agricultural country, with around 60% of the population depending on farming for their livelihoods. The sector contributes 21% of Pakistan’s GDP and is a major source of employment.
Climate change is already making it harder for farmers to grow crops and rear livestock. Rising temperatures and erratic rains are affecting crop yields, while increased flooding is damaging infrastructure and causing losses of livestock.
The impact of climate change on agriculture is likely to intensify in the coming years, as Pakistan continues to experience more extreme weather conditions. This will have serious implications for food security in the country, as well as the economy and livelihoods of millions of people.
Mitigation strategies for the Agricultural sector
Pakistan is an agricultural country and the sector accounts for a significant portion of its GDP. The impact of climate change on agriculture is a major concern for the Pakistani government.
There are a number of mitigation strategies that have been proposed by the government and various NGOs to help reduce the impact of climate change on Pakistan’s agriculture sector. Some of these strategies are listed below:
1. Improving water management: One of the key ways to mitigate the impact of climate change on agriculture is to improve water management. This includes better irrigation practices, efficient use of groundwater, and proper storage and distribution of water resources.
2. Use of improved seeds and crop varieties: Another way to reduce the impacts of climate change is to use improved seeds and crop varieties that are more resistant to extreme weather conditions.
3. Promotion of sustainable land management practices: Sustainable land management practices can help reduce soil erosion, improve fertility, and increase resilience to extreme weather conditions. These practices include organic farming, agroforestry, contour ploughing, and application of mulch or organic matter.
4. Encouraging private sector investment in agriculture: Private sector investment in agriculture can help increase productivity and incomes for farmers, as well as create jobs in rural areas. The government can encourage private sector investment through various policy measures such as tax incentives or subsidies.
Pakistan is a country that is highly vulnerable to climate change. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the form of more extreme weather events and changes in agricultural production. These impacts are likely to become more severe in the future, with potentially devastating consequences for Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock sector. In order to protect this sector from the worst effects of climate change, it is imperative that Pakistani policy-makers take action now to mitigate and adapt to these emerging challenges.
Naila Ikram Bhatti, Islamabad