A majority of Pakistanis relies on the agriculture sector. It had a 19.5% share of gross domestic product in 2016. However, the production continues to decline rapidly.
According to a report, Pakistan’s agricultural product efficiency lies between 29% and 52%, which is very low as compared to the rest of the world.
Pakistan vs the World
Pakistan generates only 3.1 tons of wheat from one hectare as compared to France which produces 8.1 tons of wheat from one hectare – the world’s best productivity.
Pakistan generates 2.5 tons of cotton per hectare as compared to China which produces 4.8 tons of cotton.
Pakistan produces 63.4 tons of Sugarcane per hectare as compared to Egypt which stands at 125.1 tons. The difference is 51%.
Pakistan generates 4.6 tons per hectare as compared to France which produces 11.1 tons which is a difference of 41%.
Pakistan produces only 2.7 tons from each hectare, which is just 29% of US’s 9.2 tons per hectare.
Founder of the Sindh Abadgar Board, Gada Hussain, says:
Low crop yields hamper Pakistan’s ability to realize its full potential; Pakistan is not an agriculture country anymore.
He says that more than 50% of the agricultural products go wasted due to unavailability of sufficient cold chain, logistics and processing facilities.
Absence of efficient, new seed varieties, intermittent water supply and unenthusiastic marketing are killing our agriculture.
- Lack of healthcare, education and safe drinking water has forced the farmers to move to cities.
- A farmer is paid less than Rs. 100 per day as compared Rs. 600 to Rs. 800 that laborers earn per day in cities.
China’s Entry in Agriculture Sector
According to reports, Chinese investors plan to provide capital and loans to Chinese companies interested in initiating ventures in Pakistan.
China plans to build a fertilizer plant in Pakistan that will produce 800,000 tons per year.
A meat processing plant in Sukkur is also planned by China. It will generate 200,000 tons annually. Two milk processing plants are also planned that will produce 0.2 million tons a year.
The Chinese investors intend to build a nationwide logistics network, warehousing, and distribution system from Gwadar to Islamabad.
The neighboring country will also build vegetable processing plants along with fruit juice and jam production plants with an annual output of 20,000 tons and 10,000 tons, respectively.
Though self-sufficiency is desirable, there are fears Chinese investors may dictate their terms due to their huge investments.