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ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF PAKISTAN

Introduction
AGRICULTURE IS OF IMMENSE IMPORTANCE FOR PAKISTAN. AT THE TIME OF INDEPENDENCE PAKISTAN WAS PRIMARILY AGRICULTURE BASED COUNTRY. BUT AS TIME PROGRESSED PAKISTAN TURNED INTO MORE DIVERSIFIED COUNTRY AS INDUSTRIALIZATION TOOK HOLD. BUT DEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIES HAD NOT ELIMINATED THE EXISTENCE OF AGRICULTURE IN PAKISTAN ALTHOUGH THE SHARE OF AGRICULTURE HAD DECREASED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE ITS BIRTH.

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The role of agriculture in the economic

development of Pakistan cannot be denied and Pakistan is still characterized as an agricultural country. In the subsequent assignment I will be discussing the contribution of agriculture in the economic development of Pakistan.

Increasing the GDP of the economy


Agriculture has a great contribution towards the

GDP of Pakistan. Economic development takes place when the GDP of a country increases. At the time of independence agriculture had the largest contribution towards the GDP of Pakistan. But with the passage of time service sector became the largest contributor of GDP and now agriculture has the third largest share in the GDP of Pakistan. According to World Bank In the year 2007, 20% of the GDP of Pakistan came from the agriculture sector of the economy. Livestock and fisheries are an important source of employment as well as they also consist of the exports of the country and help in increasing the GDP of the country.

livestock
Livestock accounts for 40 percent of the

agricultural sector and 9 percent of the total GDP. Pakistan ranks fifth in the Muslim World and twentieth worldwide in farm output. It is the world's fifth largest milk producer. The country is the 5th largest producer of milk in the world. This implies that agriculture is the back bone of Pakistans economy and has integral role in the economic development of the country.

Source of Employment
Agriculture industry is the major source of

employment in Pakistan. As more than half of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas. In 2007-08 Development Report of UNDP 65% of the total population of Pakistan lived in rural areas in 2005. In rural areas agriculture is the sole means of their subsistence and employment. According to the Economic survey of Pakistan agriculture remained to be the dominant source of employment.43.61% of the total employment is provided by agriculture in the FY 2006-07

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As a developing country consistent employment is

of huge importance for the country and directly and indirectly agriculture is the biggest source of employment in the country. Employment leads towards increased GDP of Pakistan and higher per capita income of people. High per capita income results in improved standard of living of the people which means more access to basic needs, better health facilities, quality education etc, which are all the signs of economic development. In this way employment as a result of agricultural activity is adding momentum to the economic development of Pakistan.

Sustaining the Population


The population of Pakistan is increasing at the rate

of almost 2% per year according to Human Development Report (2007-08) of UNDP. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country of the world while second most populous country in the Muslim world according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United States. In order to sustain such a massive population agriculture is playing a key role. Agriculture is providing food to this ever increasing population. Wheat is the most consumed food item of Pakistan and fortunately it is the most cultivated crop of Pakistan. Imagine what if Pakistan is not an agricultural country.

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Then to sustain a population of almost 158.1 million the country would have to import all the food items creating a further deficit in its balance of payments and increasing the countrys debts causing the economic growth of this developing country to slow down. Thus agriculture is playing a dual role in the development of Pakistan by providing food to its massive population and supporting economic growth by reducing imports of food items.

Contribution towards Exports


Major exports of Pakistan consist of

agriculture items like wheat, rice, cotton. According to FAO Pakistan exports rice, cotton, fish, fruits, and vegetables. In 2005-06 the major share of Pakistan exports went to 9 countries, account for 55.9% of total exports. 62.6% of Pakistans total exports are Agriculture Commodities and Textiles Products, 33% of which are Raw or Low value added products. Agriculture is helping the country to earn foreign exchange through exports.

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Foreign exchange, in turn, helps Pakistan to import those items which either it cannot produce in the domestic market or produces them expensively than other countries. Through foreign exchange Pakistan imports high-tech equipments and capital intensive machineries and raw material for its industries like industrial machinery, computer and computer parts etc. Foreign exchange through export of agriculture items helps the central bank to stabilize its currency and reducing debt burden of Pakistan

Raw material for Industrial Sector

Industries are of major importance in the economic development of any country. Agriculture is helping many industries in Pakistan by providing raw material to these industries. Cotton is a major crop of Pakistan which is also an important export of Pakistan and raw material of textile industry. Textile industry is significant and world famous industry of Pakistan. Likewise sugar industry uses sugar cane as raw material and sugar cane is also among one of the important crops of Pakistan. Sports goods of Pakistan are famous world wide. They are major exports of Pakistan. Raw material for these sports goods is obtained from the skins of live stock which is also a part of agricultural activity.

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Livestock is also used in the manufacturing of leather, which is again one of the important exports of Pakistan. These industries have innumerable benefits to the economy of Pakistan. They provide employment to the pool of the labor, they add up to the exports of Pakistan, they bring in new technology with in the country which not only increases the quantity but also the quality of output and many more benefits. All these benefits of industrialization are largely derived from agriculture sector of Pakistan which accelerates the economic development of the country.

Development of Rural Sector and Improving the Standard of Living

A prerequisite for development with in the country is the development of rural sector. Almost 65% of Pakistans population lives in the rural sector. The progress of rural areas is indispensable for the development of Pakistans economy. Agriculture had been a milestone towards the advancement of the rural sector of Pakistan. It is not only the means of subsistence for the villagers but is also the biggest source of employment for them. As agriculture expanded in rural areas their development took rootsroads started to develop and rail tracks were laid down in rural areas to make transportation agricultural products efficient to the domestic and foreign market and to the industries.

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It further says that in the emerging countries, the agricultural agenda should focus on reducing the disparity between rural and urban incomes and raising the incomes of the rural poor. Thus agriculture helps in reducing the income inequality between rural and urban areas of Pakistan. All this lead towards higher standard of living of the villagers, signifying the growth of the rural as well as that of the whole country.

Role of agriculture in development:


* source of foreign exchange earnings

* capital formation
*increase in national income * contribution to GDP

*increase in the industrial demand

Why agricultural production is low in pakistan ?


Following are the factors which hinders Pakistan from maximum or good production. * Technological factors ,

* General factors etc.

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* Technological factors ; lacking of awareness improper irrigation system poor infrastructure improper utilization of land ineffective research

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* General factors ; Natural calamities political instability plant deseases Debt burden low literacy rate

Suggestions to improve productivity :


* Credit availability

*improve Irrigation system


*quality seeds *availability of fertilizers

*land reforms

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*increase in cultivation land

* control over plant deseases


*promote education *oil seed and live stock

*agricultural markets

Agricultural market ; obstacles


* no market knowledge

* Expensive transport
* Chain of middle man

* Lacking storage and warehouses


* unfair burden of charges

Measures taken by Govt. to build up agricultural market


*proper grading system

* market awareness
* ware house and storage facility * regulated markets

* elimination of middleman

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* co-operative marketing

* regulations regarding weights and measures *agricultural market and storage limited

Conclusion
In these manifold ways agriculture had contributed in the economic development of Pakistan. In order to further increase the development of the economy the government should introduce policies which increase the efficiency of agriculture. E.g. government should introduce modern means of production through the initiation of technology in the agriculture sector. The government should also revise land reforms as small lands are not as productive as the large ones and should also increase the ownership of land to farmers and must take steps to eliminate feudalism. Effective measures for agriculture will definitely add up to the development of the weak economy of Pakistan.