Inspite of structural shift towards industrialization, agriculture sector is still the largest sector of the economy with deep impact on socio-economic set up. It is the source of the livelihood of almost 44.7 percent of the total employed labour force in the country. With the present contribution to GDP at 21.8 percent, agriculture sector is the mainstay of the rural economy around which socio-economic privileges and deprivations revolve. Thus given for its stretched distinct forward and backward linkages particularly with the industrial sector, a large impact on balance of payments and highest share in employment, agriculture sector has assumed an added significance in backdrop of global food crunch and food security. No strategy of economic reforms can be realized without sustained and broad based agricultural development which is critical for raising living standards, alleviating poverty assuring food security, generating buoyant market for expansion of industry and services, and making substantial contribution to the national economic growth.
Agriculture has grown at an average rate of 4.1 percent per annum since 2002-03 with variations, from 6.5 percent to 1.1 percent. The fluctuation in agriculture has largely stemmed from a fluctuation in major crops which in turn is the result of the behaviour of mother nature, pest attacks on crops. The trends in agriculture growth since 2002-03 are reported in table 2.1
Tabl 2.1 Agriculture Growth (Percent) Year Agriculture MajorCrops MinorCrops 2002-03 4.1 6.8 1.9 2003-04 2.4 1.7 3.9 2004-05 6.5 17.7 1.5 2005-06 6.3 -3.9 0.4 2006-07 4.1 7.7 -1.0 2007-08 1.1 -6.4 10.9 2008-09(P) 4.7 7.7 3.6 P = Provisional Soure: Federal Bureau of Statistics
The performance of agriculture sector has been stronger than expected during 2008-09 as against the target of 3.5 percent and last year's performance of 1.1 percent, overall agriculture this year is estimated to grow by 4.7 percent on account of bumper wheat, rice and maize crops estimated as 23.42, 6.9 and 4.0 million tons respectively.
Hence major crops accounting for 33.4 percent o agricultural value added registered stellar growtl of 7.7 percent as against negative 6.4 percent las year. Minor crops contributing 12.0 percent t< overall agriculture grew by 3.6 percent as agains 10.9 percent last year. The performance o livestock - the single largest contributor to overal agriculture (51.8 percent) grew by 3.7 percent ir 2008-09 as against 4.2 percent last year. The fishery performed positively at 2.3 percent; thougl the previous years growth stood at 9.2 percent Forestry has been experiencing negative growth since 2003-04 and this year too has posted negative growth of 15.7 percent in a row.
Pakistan's agricultural output is closely linked with the supply of irrigation water. As shown in Table 2.2, against the normal surface water availability at canal heads of 103.5 million-acre feet (MAP), the overall (both for Kharif and Rabi) water availability has been less in the range of 2.5 percent (2005-06) to 20.6 percent (2004-05). Relatively speaking, Rabi season faced more shortage of water than Kharif during these years.
During the current fiscal year (2008-09), the availability of water for Kharif 2008 (for the crops such as rice, sugarcane and cotton) has been 0.3 percent less than the normal supplies and 5-5 percent less than last year's Kharif (see Table 2.2). The water availability during Rabi season (for major crop such as wheat), is, however, estimated at 24.9 MAP, which is 31.6 percent less than the normal availability, and 10.7 percent less than last year's Rabi.
Table 2.2 Actual Surfce water availability Million Acre Feet Period Kharif Rabi Total over the avg. % incr./decr. Average system usage 67.1 36.4 103.5 - 2002-03 62.8 25.0 87.8 -15.2 2003-04 65.9 31.5 97.4 -5.9 2004-05 59.1 23.1 82.2 -20.6 2005-06 70.8 30.1 100.9 - 2.5 2006-07 63.1 31.2 94.3 -8.9 2007-08 70.8 27.9 98.7 -4.6 2008-09 (P) 66.9 24.9 91.8 -11.3 Source: IRSA
i. Crop Situation
There are two principal crop seasons in Pakistan, namely the "Kharif, the sowing season of which begins in April-June and harvesting during October-December; and the "Rabi", which begins in October-December and ends in April-May. Rice, sugarcane, cotton, maize, mong, mash, bajra and jowar are "Kharif crops while wheat, gram, lentil (masoor), tobacco, rapeseed, barley and mustard are "Rabi" crops. Major crops, such as, wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane account for 89.1 percent of the value added in the major crops. The value added in major crops accounts for 33.4 percent of the value added in overall agriculture. Thus, the four major crops (wheat, rice, cotton, and sugarcane), on average, contribute 29.8 percent to the value added in overall agriculture and 6.5 percent to GDR The minor crops account for 12.0 percent of the value added in overall agriculture. Livestock contributes 51.8 percent to agricultural value added - much more than the combined contribution of major and minor crops (45.4%).
Cotton is the important non-food cash crop and a significant source of foreign exchange earnings. Cotton accounts for 7.3 percent of the value added in agriculture and about 1.6 percent to GDP The crop was sown on the area of 2820 thousand hectares, 7.7 percent less than last year (3054 thousand hectares). The production is estimated at 11.8 million bales for 2008-09, higher by 1.1 percent over the last year's production of 11.7 million bales. However, the cotton production was 14.5 percent less than the target of 14.11 million bales mainly due to the shortage of irrigation water, less use of DAP to cotton crop, attack of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV), mealy bug and white fly on the crop and last picking of cotton was affected due to higher prices of wheat announced by the Government.
Cotton Leaf Curl virus (CLCV) has been the major problem in achieving the higher cotton production. In order to improve per hectare yield of cotton crop, Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MINFA) has been working on a two pronged strategy i.e., developing the technology through indigenous capabilities as well as inviting the Multi-National Companies to bring in the latest cotton production and protection technologies for enhancing cotton production in the country. In this respect, letter of intent (LOT) and memorandum of understanding has been signed with Monsanto company for introduction of latest technology (bollgard -II) in the country to maximize cotton production. National Biosafety Committee (NEC) of Ministry of Environment has also authorized biosafety clearance to eight cotton varieties with bollard-I trait.
Area, production and yield of cotton for the last five years are given in Table 2.4 and Fig. 2.1.
Table 2.3 Production of Major Crops (000 Tons) Year Cotton Sugar Rice Maize Wheat 2003-04 10048 53419 4848 1897 19500 (-1.6) (2.6) (8.3) (9.2) (1.60) 2004-05 14265 74244 5025 2797 21612 (42.0) (-11.6) (3.6) (47.4) (10.8) 2005-06 13019 44666 5547 3110 21277 (-8.7) (-5.5) (10.4) (11.2) (-1.6) 2006-07 12856 54742 5438 3088 23295 (-1.2) (22.6) (-2.0) (-0.7) (9.5) 2007-08 11655 63920 5563 3605 20959 (-9.3) (16.8) (2.3) (16.7) (-10.0) 2008-09 (P) 11819 50045 6952 4036 23421 (1.4) -(21.75) (24.9) (11.9) (11.7) P = Provisional(July-March) Source: Ministry of Food and Agricuture
World Cotton Situation
World cotton production is projected to decline by about 10 percent in 2008-09, to 108.8 million bales (480 Ibs each), mainly due to decline in world cotton area caused by increased competition from alternative crops. Significant portions of cotton area were diverted to grains and oilseed production due to more attractive prices than cotton. The world yield is also estimated slightly down mainly due to unfavorable weather. The world yield is projected down to 763 kilograms per hectare from the record of 788 kilograms per hectare reached in 2007-08. The decline in world cotton area is registered for the second consecutive season.
The projected decrease in world production in 2008-09 is also driven by an expected fall of production in the United States to 13.0 million bales from 19.2 million bales of last year.…