Causes of Low Yield in Pakistan


Inspite of this that contribution of services sector is gradually increasing in our economy and replacing the share of agriculture, still a lion’s share of pure agriculture contribution and agro based industry is the back bone of our economy. There are a number of factors of low yield in our country in comparison to other advanced countries, which need to be elaborated in this article. The major factors of causes are given below:

Outlines :

    1. Environmental factors :
      • Very high or low Temperature
      • Relative humidity in air
      • Solar radiation
      • biotic and abiotic stress
      • drought
      • Very low or high Rainfall
      • Topography
      • Poor soil fertility
      • High prices of fertilizers
      • soil water logging
      • soil salinity
      • soil degradation
      • soil erosion
      • Low Organic matter contents
      • pH,(vix) Bulk density
      • soil productivity


  1. Agronomic factors :
    • Sowing time and method
    • seed rate
    • planting geometry
    • Plant protection measures
    • plant population
    • irrigation scheduling
    • Improper method
    • time and rate of fertilization
    • High yielding cultivars
    • Improper land preparation
    • Conventional planting methods
    • Early and late harvesting
    • Unavailability of certified seed
    • crop rotation
  2. Policy factors :
    • Lack of agri. Research
    • Lack of coordination between education, research and extension
    • Poor governance in controlling supply of standard pesticides and fertilizers
  3. Economic factors
    • Agricultural loans
    • glut formation of agricultural produce
    • Black marketing of inputs
    • exploitation of intermediaries
    • improper access to market
    • Improper structure of market
  4. Management factors
    • Post harvest losses
    • Supply of inputs at proper time, proper place and proper method
    • Poor storage and transportation facilities
    • Poor extension services
    • Poor farm mechanization
    • Small holding of farmers
    • Unrealistic electricity load shedding

1. Environmental factors :

      Pakistan is among those countries of the world where sun shines through out the year and rivers flow in a web form from Punjab to Sindh. We have a variety of seasons for all field and horticultural crops. Although there are weather extremes yet we have all diversity which is needed for sustainability of a happy and successful life. We have a range of temperature from very hot to chilling temperature for a variety of crops. But this also limits the possibility of growing of antagonistic crops from temperature point of view. For instance, summer crops can not be grown in winter season and vice versa. For this purpose tunnel technology can be used to keep the supply of the vegetable and fruits on sustained basis. However, this technology can not be applicable for forage or field crops. Aridity in our deserts due to lack of rainfalls limit the productivity of our agricultural productivity. On the other hand, torrential rainfalls might finalize in the complete destruction of the crops and might be ruined due to floods. We don’t have sufficient arrangements to store such precious water. Heavy sun shine checks the process of photosynthesis and water scarcity further augment the reduction in yield of the crops. Topography limits the feasibility of growing one type of crop with other crop. For example tea cultivation is possible in hilly areas but in plains. Although we a diversity of land yet we are unable to exploit the maximum potential of all types of topography.


      Soil is the main anchorage for the crop production. Poor soil fertility may result in low yield. Burning sun diminishes organic matter in the soil. Our most of the soils are deficient in organic matter. Chemical fertilizers are much costly to compensate the soil fertility status. Although organic matter improves the efficiency of chemical fertilizers, yet availability of organic matter is very low, as most of the cattle feaces is burnt in from of dung. Green manuring is hardly done as it is an expensive practice.Due to unavailability of the organic matter, soil pH usually remains alkaline due to which availability of most the trace elements is hindered. Soil metabolism is disturbed influencing the plant metabolism for up take, trans-location and assimilation of the nutrients.Soil degradation is a severe problem in our hilly areas due to heavy grazing and browsing by livestock. Due to which soil erosion have aggravated the soil degradation and resulting in the complete of the soil. In addition to this, heavy and torrential rainfalls have further intensified the soil erosion. In its consequence, over all available soil for our cultivation is reducing gradually.


    Soil salinity and water logging are the cancers of the soil, which are continuously engulfing our soils. Due to unavailability of irrigation water, our 24 % area of the country is only cultivable. When upper soil surface is exposed to sun, water is evaporated from soil surface which gives a chance to under ground water to move through capillary action to soil surface. This water brings salts also with itself on the surface of soil. In this way, heavy concentration of salts on soil surface brings damage to young seedlings of field crops. There is need to launch a comprehensive project for the recailmation of salinity and water logged soils.

2. Agronomic factors

      Agronomic limitations are often faced at farm level. But some times farm limitations at national level cause drastic reduction in gross national production. For example if due to water scarcity wheat sowing is delayed for only one day. It will decrease your net production by one maund per acre per day. This can be calculated at national level, what will happen, when one crore acres will suffer of water scarcity. Like wise, what will happen if the same area could not fertilized by phosphatic fertilizer due to black marketing and hoarding of DAP fertilizers.Unavailability of certified seed or registered seed due to hoarding of multinational companies, nepotism of Govt. ministers and middlemen have definitely oppressed the poor farmers and exploited their potential to improve their agricultural productivity. It is need of the hour that farmers should be provided certified seed from trust worthy sources at dog cheap rates for their financial assistance. Until and unless seed will be vigor and health how one can think of bumper crop? Same is the case for livestock sector. It would be meanness if we ignore this segment at this stage. Provision of seed for buffaloes and sheep to farmers at union council level will definitely help us to boost up the economy of the farmer. In most of the cases, whether you go for rice transplantation or sugarcane sowing, plant population never remains optimum due to which our resources are wasted lavishly. Likewise, in wheat sowing due to late plantation optimum tillering is never achieved. We always remain lag far behind than that of Indian Punjab because of lat sowing of wheat. Farm machinery is available in market which would ensure optimum plant population in field crops as well as horticultural crops; however, it is relatively expensive.

Proper method of sowing with sufficient seed rate will definitely guarantee optimum stand and balanced application of chemical fertilizer along with farm yard manure at proper time will ensure satisfactory yield to meet the demand of the country. Unfortunately, fertilization with uncertainty of irrigation scheduling has diminished its economic benefits to farmers. Natural resources of water have been snatched away by our neighbors and we are just taunting, and cursing them. Govt, of the Pakistan should take a firm stand on this issue to urge India not to violate the spirit of Indus water treaty.Farm mechanization is a resource consuming process. Our farmers can not mechanize their farms because of unavailability of resources and small holding area for farming. Major fraction of our rural community has cultural land less than 5 acres. It is impossible for such farmers to do mechanized farming. Further land division have in inheritance have further aggravated the land division and ownership problems. Banking sector also saw them suspiciously, if they try to avail the facility of loan. Inspite of all them, Govt. of the Punjab is trying to provide tractors to small farmers at subsidized rates. It is a cool breeze in the scorching sun of destabilizing economy. But still there is need to do much more in this regard. In addition to this, there should be training institutes for the appropriate training of farmers for suitable operation and functioning of equipments and machines.

3. Policy factors :

    Unluckily, present Govt. has agriculture at its least priority in the list of agenda. We are at war with terrorism and energy crisis have failed our all industrial and commercial sectors including agriculture. Our allies have left us in the lurch at the mercy of tides. . Numbers of agricultural markets are only a few where there is no facility of storage, processing, and transportation of produce. There is glut formation in the market when the produce of the farmer arrive in market. Brokers and middlemen exploit them by purchasing their produce at very low rate that farmers could not meet their both ends to meet. On the other hand, agricultural inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and seed are black marketed and hoarded. Same situation is in livestock production. Fodder, roughages, medicines for animals and gur are black marketed, where as produce of livestock like milk, hides, meat, and eggs of poultry is purchased in villages to sell these items at very high prices to demoralize farmers in the war of dearness and economy.

4. Economic Factors

    According to a survey, 20 % of our total agricultural productivity is lost due to improper post harvest treatments. It is a huge figure that needs our attention. Post harvest losses are much more in flowers, vegetables and fruits. The possible reasons might be the their perishability, low shelf life, lack of cold storage and transportation and post harvest safety measures, far off distance of markets. We don’t have sufficient basic infrastructure to export our quality products. Our access to international market is limited. We don’t have laboratories to monitor the quality of our produce and certify our products. Govt. should launch a program on war footing base to give loans to farmers to establish storage houses for proper storage of their products. In addition to this, there should be insurance policy for the crops and livestock.

5. Management factors

      Unbearable, unscheduled and unrealistic electricity load shedding has intensified miseries of not only people of the cities but also of the farmers. It indicates the constant negligence of this and previous Govt. whether it was democratic or martial law produce. Now it has nearly impossible for the farmers to irrigate their field with electric tube wells or to do any post harvest development or processing operation for agro based industry. The cost of diesel also does not justify running diesel tube wells to irrigate the fields. Govt. has hiked the prices of diesel withdrawing all subsidies, while the prices of petroleum and its products are decreasing at international level, to “enjoy” this facility. Rivers are natural resources of constant and pure water supply. Almighty Allah has gifted Pakistan five rivers, but we don’t thank to God of these gifts. Every year million of the cubic feet water is wasted in ocean without being utilized. We have not yet planned how to regularize our linked canals. Kala Bagh dam construction is victimized of red- tapism. The newly elected democratic Govt. of Peoples Party has announced the abandon of Kala Bagh construction project. Now we are wandering behind Iran and Azerbijan for electricity supply. But the question is this, how we will pay for that borrowed electricity ?


      Adulteration in pesticide and chemical fertilizer has devastated the whole process of farm productivity through out Pakistan. Similarly, adulteration in milk, ghee, and butter production has shaken the confidence of the public upon private multi-national companies and inter-personal social relations between the consumers and sellers. Although Govt. of the Punjab is dealing with culprits with an iron hand, yet much is needed to be worked out in this sphere.


      Timber mafia in northern territories have demolished thousand hectares of tree plantation by the underground understanding of forest department, on account of which, these mountainous areas are not only losing their beauty, but also developing problems of land degradation and soil erosion. Heavy grazing and browsing of livestock have rendered these areas nude exposing those to torrential rains. Heavy rains have now caused flood to down stream territories.


    Lack of coordination and harmonization of working of research, education and extension departments have nullified our efforts for the betterment and prosperity of farmer community. Our most of the targets are unrealistic, unidentified and unachievable. Our research projects are not need, demand and economic benefit based. Every body is blowing his own template, Inspite of all this that all these departments are working under the same chair.

By: Muhammad Ahmad

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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