Pakistan is an agricultural country and dependent on agriculture as it contributes maximum share in entire Gross domestic production. These lines are from the syllabus ranging from primary level leads to the University courses and We have been taught that we are agri-Rian Country. Maybe, it is because of our forefather lands and their complete Dependence on agriculture or due to our employees who finds doing farming is the last option for rural youngsters in the country like Pakistan where career and future seem in complete despondency. Now, the question here is why the agriculture share declining in contrast to service and industry sector? What are the potential reasons & what could be done so far to flourish this neglected sector? What else is waiting, opportunities or potential threats, the choice is there?
There are three sectors that comprise & completes gross domestic production(GDP) percentage figures. Those are Agriculture, service and industry sector. Back in 1949-50’s period, agriculture alone contributed 53% in entire GDP whereas now it stands at 18-19% in entire GDP. However, service and industry sector is flourishing and contributing with proliferated figures into the GDP.
There are many reasons behind that as one can critically analyse then one realizes that we are in the mess of problems; whereas solution for those problems seems help from sky as we only depend on others’ inventions, researches and development but always ready to follow their workout and researches.
Furthermore, in Pakistan agriculture is facing strong dismissal in the technological era of 21st century and those areas are, considering technology as threat rather than an opportunity to adopt, complete government negligence and focus on this particular sector of economy, lack of education, awareness and skillset among farming community etc.
World is in the ever busiest generation period and enormously significant to change. Newness and innovation is the need of hour. Technology has changed the way of working with and managing people, things and even places. But does this technology changed the way, people used to do farming and performing agriculture?
In the worldly context, completely yes. In Pakistan’s scenario, it seems in lingering and sluggish. Agriculture technology completely changed the way of doing agriculture by introducing high quality seed that maximize production, diseases resistance seed varieties and environmental sustainable growth rates. Drown technology ultered the page of farming, as maximum irrigation, spraying, surveillance and monitoring, fertilization done by drowns in the many parts of world. Heavy agriculture machines cut the human work force and solely completed the work of 20 people alone in field. All these seem absolute imaginary and mere a fantasy in our country as maximum operations are still performed by orthodox approaches but on strong belief that our yield will increase and green revolution will come. But when final production come, it lets majority of farmers in complete perplexity and astound.
Bhutto’s land reforms and Zail-ul-Haqq’ regime only saw few serious steps in the sector of Agriculture and green revolution. After that, none of the government seemed curious as well as zealous to bring changes and reforms as agriculture remained negligence and deaf dumb sector which progressed somehow because of strategic location and natural resources bestowed upon Pakistan. But apart from naturally occurring events, there are few research firms and provincial government initiatives that powered the sector and generate fruitful results.
However, government absurd and vague policy towards agriculture, incompetent steps towards agriculture export market, poor infrastructure development and marketing channel , lack of transparency and resource allocation put serious questions on ruling government performance and their inability to look after this always ignored sector. Apart from these water distribution problems, land distribution, price hikes, demise of other cash crops except sugarcane, intent shortage of essential commodities etc. Put a question mark on the ruling aliet and concerned agriculture department’s performance.
Lastly, lack of modern practices knowledge, un-awareness about new seeds, practices and operations, and ghost department of extension services also fully contribute towards the dismal of this sector’s performance. Last seven dacades has passed but we as a nation failed to invigorate farming community to adopt change and educate them modern technological advancement. So embarrassing to hear this, We are doing nothing for those farmers, who are doing everything to maximize their farm produce and make it available the essential commodities for rest of the population.
In the countries like Brazil and Australia, agriculture field tractor driver ought to prove his/her credentials in the form of diploma or certification but here extentionist is roaming without even minimum education requirements. Luckily, if someone is performing better services and posses sound knowledge then government is not dare to take suggestion in policy formulation and drafting. What a typical irony is this? That still we are agriculture economy and our GDP vastly depends on this lingering agriculture.
Finally, it is not too late but afterall it is late. But if one stands and awakes from deep sleep to improves his/her circumstances then he/she can do that. There is always a strong leadership role that motivates the people and strengthen the system. That leadership is direly needed in this turmoil crisis situation.
Firstly, government ought to focus its time, resources and intellectual ability to trace the prevailing problems and solve those issues. Initiating new research based laboratories where new seed varieties will develop. Decisive policy making and decision making approached is the need of hour. Initiate short skill and modern practices based seminars, workshop and diplomas into the local language in order to equip modern teachings. Regulate the extension services department and equip it with resources and technology. Developing market infrastructure and supply channel for ensuring supplies whereas detects flaws. Much work is needed and every time the progress is required and demanded till perfection. But this is the only way forward to be the best in the list of quality products, export potential, modern 21st agriculture practice and booming agribusiness opportunities. We, as a nation can do anything but under stronger and transparent leadership.
By Kainat Mehbood (BBA- Agribusiness)