Way Forward For Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector – OpEd
Pakistan is a country with agriculture contributing 20% to its GDP and employing 42% of its workforce. The agriculture sector of Pakistan has immense potential due to its diverse climate, fertile land, and a large number of water resources, including rivers, canals, and groundwater.
One of the key strengths of Pakistan’s agriculture sector is its production of various crops, including wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, fruits, and vegetables. The country is also known for its livestock and dairy products, with the dairy sector being the largest sub-sector of agriculture. The sector has the potential to expand its production capacity through improved irrigation practices, better management of water resources, and modernization of farming techniques.
Pakistan’s agriculture sector is facing several challenges, including low productivity, outdated farming techniques, inadequate infrastructure, lack of investment, and climate change. However, with proper planning and investment, these challenges can be overcome, and the sector can reach its full potential.
To achieve this, Pakistan needs to prioritize investment in agriculture research and development, modernization of farming techniques, and infrastructure development, including better irrigation systems, transportation, and storage facilities. The country must also focus on improving its value chain to ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce and consumers have access to quality products.
One promising area for growth in the agriculture sector is the production of high-value crops, including fruits, vegetables, and spices. Pakistan has a favorable climate for growing these crops, and they have a high demand in international markets. By investing in research and development, improving infrastructure, and promoting exports, Pakistan can increase its share of the global market for high-value crops.
Another potential area for growth is the use of technology in agriculture. Precision agriculture, which uses technology to optimize crop yields and reduce waste, has the potential to revolutionize the sector. By using satellite imagery, drones, and other technologies, farmers can better manage their crops, reducing input costs and increasing yields.
One affective measure that can add value to Pakistan’s agricultural domain, can be the transfer of its responsibility to an institute having experience in dealing with crisis situation. Pertaining to the high-levels of corruption and mismanagement the political leadership cannot be a viable option. However, the Armed Forces with their trained human resource and potential can help save Pakistan’s agricultural economy. The history tells that whenever Pakistan got hit with a national crisis the armed forces remained the only option to look for help. Whether it be countering the covid-19 challenge through NCOC, dealing with locusts, cholera, or any other national crisis Pakistan Army remained at the forefront to help its people.
Pakistan’s agriculture sector has immense potential, and with the right policies and investment, it can be a significant contributor to the country’s economic growth. The sector can create new jobs, increase exports, and improve food security for the population. However, to realize this potential, Pakistan must address the challenges facing the sector and invest in modernization, research, and development, and infrastructure. By doing so, Pakistan can become a major player in the global agriculture market and achieve sustainable economic growth.
Humais Sheikh, has completed his Master’s from Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad in Defense and Strategic studies. He is an independent defense analyst and Ex. Vice president of Defense and Strategic Studies student’s society.