The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan’s agriculture sector declined to just $0.56 million during the first quarter (July-Sept) of the current fiscal year (FY23) as compared to $54.9 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.
According to an official document seen by ProPakistani, the FDI in agriculture, forestry, and fishing is on decreasing trend despite the sectors needing billions of dollars in investment to increase their productivity for meeting local demand.
It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors contribute more than 20 percent to the GDP and a large part of the total population is associated with these sectors.
Despite being an agricultural country, Pakistan meets a large chunk of its local food demand through imports. The country’s food imports swelled to $9.01 billion during the last fiscal year.
Economic experts have urged the government to take steps to increase the productivity of agricultural outputs. Pakistan is producing 2.8 metric tonnes of wheat per hectare while New Zealand is producing 9.9 metric tonnes per hectare. The yield of many other crops is also low compared to international standards.
The country needs to improve its agricultural production through new investments in the latest technologies and high-quality seeds. Experts say that the government should take steps, on a priority basis, to increase the local production of palm oil and wheat to save precious foreign exchange.