Agriculture sector

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AGRICULTURE SECTOR

Overview

Agriculture sector is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy and it  contributes around 20 percent in the overall gross domestic product (GDP) . This sector also provides 65 percent of the total exports of Pakistan. Despite all of these amazing numbers, the agriculture sector, presently faces a major challenge of low returns to farmers because of higher costs of production.

In recent times many farmer organizations have staged protests on the roads time and again against the expensive inputs and have demanded decrease in the prices of fertilizers, fuel and electricity charges for agricultural purposes, provision of high quality disease-resistant seeds and a better per acre yield.

KEY STATISTICS

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20 % OF GDP
65 % OF COUNTRY EXPORTS
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50 % OF EMPLOYED LABOUR FORCE

CHALLENGES

  • No proper advice, counseling and training for small farmers on technology and business
  • Lack of access to quality seed at affordable prices
  • Lack of financing on terms that small farmers can understand & use
  • Lack of use of modern technologies
  • Limited market knowledge

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Bring down high cost of inputs (seeds, fertilizer,
    chemicals)
  • Increase yields (Education, Mechanization, technology)
  • Fill Value Chain infrastructure Gaps (Cold Chain, Storage
    facilities)
  • Aggregation and Coordination of small farmers

Sources:

-MIT review Pakistan, Technology: The Missing Link in Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector, Zahid Baig

-Increasing Value To Small Farmers Through Intermediation: Role of Entrepreneurship, Syed Zahoor Hassan Suleman,  Dawn Food and Agri Conference 2016

Solutions From Around the World:

  • Traditionally, rural farmers apply fertiliser to crops by spreading the seeds by hand. Fertiliser deep placement (FDP) is a new way of distributing fertiliser that increases yields by an average of 18% and reduces fertiliser use by a third. FDP works by using a specialised fertiliser (called ‘briquette’) which releases nitrogen gradually. The fertiliser is placed 7-10 centimetres below the soil, which allows less nitrogen to be lost through runoff. FDP is used by farmers across Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.
  • A mobile app called VetAfrica, developed by a software company called Cojengo, is enabling animal health workers and farmers to accurately diagnose livestock illness and find the most effective drugs to treat the disease. With over 100 million farmers spread across thousands of square miles in east Africa, the developers predict massive growth of mobile and cloud tech solutions in African markets.
  • The biggest improvement for rural farmers comes from getting adequate training on animal care, pest management and crop development. New farm management software calculates food rations and milking systems to make farm management as simple as possible. Farm management training has been found to make a big difference to farming output. For example, providing cows with housing containing suitable bedding and food troughs has been shown to increase milk yield and drastically improve farm sustainability.
  • Source:
    Six innovations revolutionising farming, Charlotte Seager, The Guardian, 8 July 2014