Export-Oriented Production of Agricultural Crops - a Step towards Self-Reliance

By Qadir, Syed Abdul | Economic Review, July 1992 | Go to article overview

Export-Oriented Production of Agricultural Crops - a Step towards Self-Reliance


Qadir, Syed Abdul, Economic Review


- A Step Towards Self-Reliance

In this paper an attempt has been made to evaluate the various aspects of export-oriented production of agricultural crops and its impact on economy. In this connection export potentialities of agricultural crops have been examined and analyzed on the basis of area, production and yield per hectare and export of agricultural crops including agricultural processed goods.

Lack of adequate finance has been the main factor impeding the necessary economic development. A number of proposals made from time to time and also as envisaged by various Five-Year Plans to make agriculture as agro-based industry, necessary funds are required to accelerate the existing rate of agricultural production by bringing more land under plough. There are plenty of uncultivated land the development of which can lead to this end.

The main object of production is not to attain self-sufficiency in those products only but also to earn foreign exchange through exports. New markets are needed to be explored for this purpose. Middle East, newly independent states of Central Asia and other developing countries may prove to be a profitable market for surplus production. In order to manage necessary funds required for development to make Pakistan a prosperous granary for food deficient countries, a food-supply agreement type is suggested to be made with those countries which are able to provide funds in advance: repayable in kind each year. In this way Pakistan can also march towards the road of self-reliance.

At the end of the paper a brief account of the impact on the economy has been presented which relates to enlarging the size of the cultivable land, increase in employment specially in rural areas, reducing rural indebtedness and overall flourishing aspects of the economy, the most glaring one will be to reduce dependence on foreign and assistance.

Introduction

Foreign exchange earning plays a vital role in the development of a country. Almost all financial and commercial policies aim to augment the foreign exchange earning through various measures. Therefore, one of the main objectives of a country specially developing one is to have surplus exports or at least trade balance in order to accelerate the pace of economic development.

There are two main sources of foreign exchange earning. First is the trade and commerce while second, is thenet factor income receipt from abroad. To this, foreign assistance and aid may also be added as a third main source of fianance which is always based on one condition or other by the donor country. In order to have trade surplus a course of substituting imports by domestic production is also followed. In this context, growing of sunflower and other oilseeds besides manufactured items may be quoted as an example. Similarly, an attempt was also made in past to grow tea and jute in the country on experimental basis. Therefore, substituting importas will save foreign exchange which may be utilized for economic development.

Export of Agricultural Crops and Commodities

Among the main items of exports of agricultural crops are rice, barley, cotton, tobacco, fruits and vegetables while exports of manufactured and semi-manufactured agricultural commodities include creals preparation, sugar and honey, cotton yarn, thread and cloth etc. Table-I shows exporters of selected agricultural crops and commodities. It is worth mentioning that besides important crops, potato, onion, garlic, fruits and vegetables have also their foreign markets specially in Middle East and other developing countries.

With the changed political world set up, possibilities of new markets have also emerged specially in Eastern Europe and newly independent states of Central Asia. In Table-I it may be seen that export of selected crops and commodities accounts for 55 per cent to 62 per cent in which the share of agricultural crops alone stands at 24 per cent to 39 per cent. …

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