Keeping in view the importance of agricultural economic section, it was established during mid 80s. Its role was to work in the field of socioeconomic research on crop-livestock areas independently and to help interact with biological scientists of various disciplines of AZRC. Since the establishment of Agricultural Economic Research Unit (AERU) at Agriculture Research Institute ARI), Sariab, in 1987, the research work on socioeconomic at AZRC has virtually been combined to save financial resources and avoid duplication. The staff strength at AZRC remained not as much of earlier.
Specifically, the section has following mandates:
- 1) To conduct descriptive and diagnostic surveys,
- 2) To identify on-farm problems and farmers’ research needs and translate into research priority,
- 3) To evaluate economic/social benefits and cost of new technologies
- 4) To determine the socio-economic viability of alternative technologies to identify farm level constraints in their adoption, and
A large numbers of research publications are in the credit of agricultural economic section. The abstracts of major studies carried out since 1987 to 2003 are offered in the following pages.
Constraints in dryland Agriculture
Different diagnostic studies on dryland agricultural systems identified the major constraints which include rangelands management and control problems, poor genetic potential of animals and nutritional deficit, etc.
Economic Losses due to Yellow Rust Infestation
Survey on the economic impact of yellow rust infestation in wheat crop estimates grain revenue losses due to yellow rust infestation in three districts (Khuzdar, Kalat and Loralai) were Rs. 123.07 million with corresponding estimated straw revenue losses of Rs. 76.60 million.
Economics of Water Harvesting
Economics of water harvesting results show that at the best, the treatment 1:1 increased net return by 35% in wheat and 7% in barley as compared to the traditional farmer’s practices. Correspondingly economic risks were reduced by 30% in wheat and 15% in barley.
Camel Utilization in Balochistan
Camel utilization practices in highland Balochistan reveal that per capita camel availability is about one camel per 14 persons. The average number of camels owned was 5.2, which results in three hectare of total cultivable land per camel. Female camels are used for transportation while 60% of the camel owners preferred using male camel for ploughing, planking and planting.
Women Participation in Agriculture
Results of a survey of women participation in upland Balochistan shows that their participation extends to all aspects of agricultural and livestock production, in addition to which, many contribute supplementary income through home-based income generating activities. In spite of this critical role, the results show that the respondents have little independent access to productive resources, and are by and large excluded from the decision-making process affecting the household.
Marketing of sheep/goat skins in Balochistan
The marketing of goat and sheep skins in highland Balochistan reveals that two major factors affecting the skin prices are seasonality and animal species. Prices for sheep and goat skins received by butchers in winter were 16-22% higher than prices in summer. Sheep skin prices were 38-83% higher than goat skin prices. All butchers sold skins directly to beoparies. Beoparies grade skins by size and used place of origin as extra criterion.
Revenue Losses Due to Illegal Trade
Pakistan suffered a revenue loss of Rs. 25000 million as a result of illegal import/export of both agricultural and non-agricultural commodities among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran during 1997-98. The commodities worth of Rs. 44062 million were exported illegally from Pakistan to Afghnistan and Iran. Simultaneously goods of worth Rs.67175 million were imported illegally into Pakistan from Afghanistan and Iran. assuming 18% export duty (10% export + 8% bribe) and 25% import duty (15% custom + 10% bribe), GOP suffered a huge revenue loss of Rs.24720 million in import and export duties due to this illegal trade.
Determination of goat and sheep prices in markets of Balochistan
A market survey of weight , age, gender, body condition and breed was undertaken to examine the effect of these animal characteristics on prices per head during 1998. Three markets, two primary and one terminal were chosen for the study. A quadratic hedonic price model was applied to determine the impact of animal characteristics on price. In the model, the variables were found significant. Live-weight was found to be statistically significant in determining price followed by gender, age and body condition.
Key Reference : Parc.gov.pk