Technology Diffusion & Agricultural Credit

By Khan, Rao Abdul Rauf | Economic Review, February 1996 | Go to article overview

Technology Diffusion & Agricultural Credit

Khan, Rao Abdul Rauf, Economic Review

Pakistan faces a tremendous challenge in modernising agriculture and making its allied fields more productive. This coveted objective cannot be achieved without introduction of innovative technology among growers specially the small farmers.


Why we are not closer to meeting the food requirements of our people today than we were fifty years ago. The experience shows that our majority of farmers specially small farmers have not been able to move from subsistence to market oriented farming because they lack finance to invest on efficient technology for improving their cultural operations. Though historically the need to boost agricultural production could be met mainly by expanding the area cultivated and new technology evolved and inducted at a relatively slow pace. Developed countries have had the past 150 years for an orderly application of mechanical power technology to their farm sector. Advances in technology in developed countries were made by farmers and private entrepreneurs, who could respond to the needs of agriculture without any Government intervention and need little from public sector or the international community. Today, however, conditions have changed. The population of the world which was 4 billion in 1975 and 5.3 billion in 1990 is expected to top six billion by the end of this century. Similarly at regional level Pakistan's population which was 124.450 million in 1994 is expected to increase to 150 million by the end of this century. A substantial increase in agricultural production will be needed and developing countries like ours cannot afford to wait for the slow evolution of agricultural technology, if we want to achieve our national development objectives. For this at first instance there is need to assess the total demand of farm power based on increased production goals. Further, there is also need to assess the combinations of hand tools, draft animal and mechanical power technology that are best suited technically and in terms of social economic objectives for specific situation in the country. So far mechanization has been introduced and applied without adequate planning. Directions or support and the result are both unexpected and unwanted. A rise in agricultural production is the prime requirement for setting the whole rural development process in motion. But the type, amount and the level of technology chosen to meet the objectives of rural development must reflect the need for more than just higher production.

Poor people are hungry because they cannot pay for the quantity and quality of food to meet their basic needs. The introduction and application of advanced technology must therefore also reflect the need to increase job opportunities, stimulate development of non farm rural activity and generate benefits occur equally to all segments of rural society. It must help change social and institutional structure and the distribution of wealth and commercial traditions as well as lead to continued innovations.

Farmers the world over the becoming more and more aware of the ways in which mechanical power technology could increase their productivity, reduce drudgery and help them lead a more comfortable life. Their determination to acquire more advanced forms of technology is becoming increasing evident. However, there is need to adopt new approaches and innovative producers for assistance that are focused on guidance for successful operation of innovative technological items.

Its Meaning, Nature and Significance

The role of technology in effecting agricultural or industrial and social production with significant cast over economic and social life of an economy need not be over-emphasised. It has been universally accepted that technology, by bringing about a change in the production process, improving efficiency and helps in attaining the necessary scale of production. Thus, technology and its development and assessment, its transfer and diffusion, its upgradation and blending, is and will remain the key factor in the progress pattern and pace of social and economic development. …

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