The Natural Resources of Pakistan

By Alam, S. M. | Economic Review, November 2010 | Go to article overview
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The Natural Resources of Pakistan


Alam, S. M., Economic Review


The natural resources are land which may be mountainous, hilly, including snow, glaciers, forests, mountainous animals and birds. Others are oil, gas, minerals, nuclear minerals, gemstones, coal, water of sea & river, fishery and offshore sea crude oil, sun light, rainfall, wind, atmospheric gases. There are at present there are 223 countries as surveyed by UNO. With exception of a few, many of these countries have land, water and sea. It means they have their own natural resources. It is not necessary that all the natural resources can be explored easily. It needs money and man power for exploration. In this perception, let us examine the natural resources of our country-Pakistan.

The natural resources of Pakistan are: Land(arid and semi-arid), mountains like K-2 and its subsidiaries, snow, hilly land, glaciers, mountainous animals, hilly forests in the northern parts and very low in the south, oil, gas, water (both rivers and sea), coal, various types of minerals, lime stones, micas, nuclear minerals, gemstones, marbles, forest, sea Regarding its location on the globe, Pakistan occupies the North-eastern part of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent between 23[degrees] and 27[degrees] north latitude and 62[degrees] and 75[degrees] east longitude. The length, and width, it covers is approximately 1400 kilometers and 500 kilometers, respectively. The total geographical area of Pakistan is 79.61 million hectares (mha) (about 197 million acres), of which only 25% or 22.82 million hectares are currently under cultivation. Out of the total land area of Pakistan, the total land area of Punjab is 20.6 mha, out of which 54% or 11.04 mha are cultivated.

The total land area of Balochistan is 34.7 mha, out of which only 4% or 1.4 mha are cultivated, and the total land area of NWFP comprises of 10.2 mha, out of which nearly 10% or 1.93 mha are cultivated- The vast areas of country generally own fertile soil, a favorable climate and with the world largest elaborated canal irrigation network. Rainfall in this area is seasonal and generally varies from 50-900 mm with an annual average of 250 mm. Pakistan is basically an agricultural country and thus agriculture is the backbone of the economy and the mainstay of our national economic life. It contributes about 25% to the GDP, employs about 50% of the total labor-force, provides livelihood directly to 70% of the rural population, and earns about 60% total value of exports. Therefore, our farming is based mainly on the quantum of heavy irrigation carried out from canal, originating from the Indus river due to short and insufficient rainy season and a long dry summer in the plains. The country grows both major, minor crops as well as vegetables and fruits, such as wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, maize, bajra, jowar, barley, pulses, vegetables(tomato, potato, pulses,), fruits as apple, citrus, mango, dates etc. on the fertile lands by irrigation network of 40,000 miles throughout the country.

Pakistan has significant oil, gas, coal, mineral ore deposits as well as alternate solar and wind potential . The country has oil reserves of over 310 million barrels as of January 2006, and produces 68, 000 barrels and gas reserves of 25.1 trillion cubic feet. Pakistan today has the highest number of compressed natural gas(CNG) run vehicle in the world. The oil and gas are the two major components of energy resources. Energy is the most fundamental ingredient for the development and growth of the economy, and its adequate supply is a pre-requisite to generate economic activities. Pakistan has huge reserves of minerals such as boron, phosphate, aluminum, copper, zinc, gypsum, marble stones etc.

The majority of produced oil comes from proven reserves located in the southern half of the country.

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