Agriculture and the farming industry is one of the largest sectors of Pakistan’s economy. The agriculture sector employs 42.3% of its labor force. The agriculture and farming sector plays a vital role in Pakistan’s economy by becoming the major source of their GDP. Pakistan is one of the leading exporters of Wheat, sugarcane, rice, and cotton. Besides that Pakistan’s agriculture and farming industry is known for growing oil seeds like sunflower, canola, Rapeseed/Mustard seeds, and cotton.
Mustard seeds are one of the essential crops that is used for both domestic and export purposes. It contributes 17% of the production of edible oil for domestic purposes. It is one of the most used and aromatic cooking oil used in almost every household of Pakistan.
I think we all agree that the demand for the agriculture and farming industry will only increase in the upcoming years as the population is increasing not just domestically but worldwide. The Government of Pakistan is now focusing on the development of small-scale farmers and taking every precaution to develop the farming industry.
The agriculture and farming sector is also giving a boom to its closely related sectors that are essential for the growth of quality crops such as fertilizers, irrigation, and pesticides. Recent studies have shown that even in this pandemic time is encouraging. In 2020-2021, the Agriculture sector contributed 19.2 percent of the total GDP.
The government is implementing new rules, policies, and concessions to encourage the growth of important crops. The pivotal role of the agriculture and farming industry is essential for the development of the nation. It not only fulfills the food supply but is one of the main employment sources of the nation. The government is planning for the development of the agriculture sector by encouraging the growth of export crops such as wheat, rice, mustard seed, cotton, and many more.
The crop season in Pakistan is divided into 2 seasons “ Kharif and Rabi”. kharif is the first crop season where sowing of the seas starts from April to June and is harvested from October to December.
The main crops of the Kharif season are Rice, sugarcane, cotton, maize, moong, mash, bajra, and jowar. They all are used for both domestic and export purposes. Despite the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic disbursement and growth rate of the Kharif crop was commendable in 2020. Kharif’s crop growth rate was 4.5 percent last year which was more than the expected ratio and surpassed last year’s growth percentage of Kharif crops.
The second season of the Pakistan Crops is Rabi. The sowing of the seeds begins from October to December and is harvested from April to May. Maine crops of this season are Wheat, Gram, Lentil, Tobacco, Barley, and mustard seeds. Wheat is one of the most important rabi crops and the growth rate of wheat last year broke all the previous records.
The growth rate of the wheat crop reached 8.1% and mustard seeds become the second-largest oilseed crop of the nation after cotton. The government’s program of promoting the production of the Rabi crops has worked and is visible due to their “Rabi Package”.
The Rabi package is a promotional program consisting of agriculture and farming subsidies on fertilizers, Pesticides, fungicides, and weedicides supported by a Minimum Support Plan or MSP. Besides these main crops, 11.69 percent of the whole agriculture and farming industry of Pakistan contributes to the growth of fruits, vegetables, and fodder. These crops contribute 2.24 percent of the whole GDP.
Top 6 Agricultural Products In Pakistan
Here are the important crops of Pakistan’s agriculture sector that play a vital role in its economy.
1. Cotton- cotton is one of the highest-demanding crops of Pakistan. It plays a crucial role in the agriculture and textile sector of the economy. It is one of the export-oriented crops, it provides raw material to the domestic and international textile industry.
However, the production of cotton has declined in the last few years as cotton crops are facing multiple challenges and competition is rising in the market. Other crops like sugarcane are taking 1st place in the economy. The government is facing difficulties in trying to maintain a competitive price in the international market while maintaining the appropriate price rate for farmers.
2. Sugarcane- Sugarcane is a valuable cash crop of Pakistan as it contributes 0.7% of the GDP. After the textile sector, the sugar-related industry holds second place. Recently, the production of sugarcane has increased as many farmers have shifted from cotton to sugarcane crops because of their high-value international market and favorable climate conditions.
3. Rice- Rice is not only a food crop but a cash crop as well. It holds second place as food crop after wheat and cash crop after cotton. Rice is an export-oriented crop. It also contributes 0.7% of the annual GDP in Pakistan’s economy and plays an important role as a domestic food crop.
Rice crop has witnessed significant growth in the sown areas as the demands of the country’s rice is increasing in the international market so is their unit price. Last year an increase of 9.9% of the sown area for the growth of rice has noted in the economy.
4. Wheat- Wheat holds the number 1 place as staple crop of Pakistan. It is one of the essential food crops of Pakistan for consumption purposes. Pakistan also is one of the main exporters of the wheat crop in the international agriculture sector. However, the main objective of wheat crop production is self-sufficiency.
Wheat crop alone contributes 1.8% of the annual GDP percentage. In 2020-21, 4.2 % of the cultivation area will be increasing for the production of wheat crops. This has happened mainly because of the increasing demand and favorable climate and financial conditions due to the new government policies.
5. Maize- Maize is one of the world’s leading cereal crops and stands in third place as both food and cash crop of Pakistan after wheat and rice. However, maize is losing its significance as a food crop as people have replaced it with wheat and rice but on the other hand, it is gaining popularity as a cereal crop.
Maize is a multipurpose crop used as feed and fodder by the wet milling industry all over the world. It contributes 0.6% of the annual GDP and has a bright future in the agriculture and farming sector.
6. Oil Seeds- After cash and food crops comes another famous sector of the agriculture and farming industry of Pakistan. The production of edible oil seeds is increasing rapidly. Oilseeds crops like cottonseed, Rapeseed/ Mustard Seed, sunflower seeds, and canola seeds are improving.
Earlier, Pakistan had to import millions of dollars worth of edible oil from the US but now the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has promoted the growth of oilseeds in the nation as it can save the nation’s millions of dollars by importing these oils. A special program “ National Oilseed Enhancement Program” is launched during this initiative which provides high-quality oil seeds like mustard seeds and cotton seeds with subsidies to improve their growth rate. Now, the Mustard seed has become the second-largest oilseed crop after cotton.
Salient Vendors Of Agriculture And Farming Industry
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