Posted by : Ahsan Khan Monday, 23 April 2012



WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF PAKISTAN?
Introduction:
About 50 years earlier, agricultural sector was not considered as a commercial sector for economic development in a large number of developing and developed nations. During the last 50 years this sector is realized as a major productive sector of Pakistani economy. 61% population is living in more than 50,000 villages in Pakistan.

Latest Information:
(According to Economic Survey 20010-11)
  • Backward agricultural sector contributes 20.9 % to GDP.
  • Its growth rate is as low as 1.2 %.
  • It employs the 45.0 % of total labour force.
  • Its contribution to exports (Food Group) is 8.62 %.

ROLE OR IMPORTANCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Importance of agricultural sector can be shown as below:
1-      Increase in Per Capita Income
Per capita income is the annual average income of the individuals of a nation. We derive it by dividing national income on total population. Agricultural sector provides more jobs to unemployed people. It increases the individuals as well as national income. Agricultural sector is essential to increase the PCI, which is $ 1254 at present.
2-      Major Source of Employment
Agriculture sector provides employment to major portion of our labour force. More than 45.0% of our labour force is directly involved in agriculture sector, while 66.7% of our rural population is dependent on agriculture. This is the major sector, which provides employment to a large portion of our population. Agriculture sector is helpful to reduce the unemployment and disguised unemployment.
3-      Reduction in Poverty
Agriculture development has significant impact on rural development. If productivity increases in agriculture it reduces poverty and stimulates non-farm employment, too. They are able to get basic services of life such as water supply, sanitation, provision of health and educational facilitates. About 21.0% population of Pakistan is much poor.
4-      Supply of Food
Food is the first in basic necessities of the life. The agriculture sector is the sole provider of all type of food like wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane vegetables and fruits etc., to the population engaged in various sectors of the economy. Agricultural sector also provides food to those animals that provide milk, cheese, butter and meat to population to maintain the efficiency. According to economic survey of Pakistan, exports of food group are $ 2007.3 million.
5-      Source of Forex Earning
Agriculture sector is the main source of foreign exchange (forex) earning which is used to import capital goods. Total forex resources of Pakistan is $ 17.1 billion out of which share of agriculture is $2007.3million. Major cash crops of Pakistan are cotton, rice, tobacco etc. that is helpful to correct the balance of payment.
6-      Supply of Surplus Labour
About 61% population is living in more than 50,000 villages in Pakistan. This sector is the major source for supply of labor force to industrial sector due to farm mechanization and disguised unemployment. In this way an increase in the income of the people leads to improved living standard.
7-      Source of National Income
At the time of partition, contribution of agriculture sector to GNP was 60%, which decreased to 29.4% in 1980-81. Now its share to GDP is 20.9% in 2010-11. Accordingly, agricultural sector is the major contributor to Pakistan’s national income.
8-      Supply of Raw Material
Agricultural sector provides not only food but also provides cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, rice, oil-seed, meat and milk to various agro-based, small scale and large-scale industries as a raw material.
9-      Development of Industrial Sector
There is inter-dependence and inter-relationship between agricultural and industrial sector, both are helpful to develop each other. Due to use of modern techniques of production in agricultural sector, when income of the agriculturists increases, they will demand for industrial articles, like threshers, harvesters, tractors, tub-wells and various other consumer goods, which results in industrial growth and development.
10-  Balance of Payment Position
Promotion of agriculture sector will provide surplus production for exports and our foreign exchange reserves will be increased. This will be helpful in the improvement of balance of payment. At present Pakistan is facing a deficit of $ 8.3 billion in its balance of payment.
11-  Improvement in Living Standard
There is an increase in the income of the farmers due to development of agricultural sector. It will improve their living standard by constructing better houses, demanding luxuries of life, television, computer, mobile, motor-cycles and a lot of other items. So, growth of agricultural sector will cause to improve the standard of living of the population.
12-  Extension in Market Size
There is more output in agricultural sector due to farm mechanization. It enlarges the size of market. If there is more production, then surplus production can be export to the other countries of the world. So, agricultural sector expands the market at national and international level.
13-  Capital Formation
Role of agricultural sector in capital formation cannot ignore. It increases the incomes of the people that lead to more saving and more investment. Here, more investment leads to rapid capital formation. Capital formation rate in Pakistan is 5%.
14-  Increase in Investment
 Total investment is only 13.4% of GDP in Pakistan. This low investment is mainly due to low income and low savings. Agricultural sector increases the income of people that caused in more saving and more investment. Accordingly, agricultural sector is helpful in increasing the investment.
15-  Economic Development
Economic development, progress and prosperity cannot achieve without agricultural sector. It provides employment opportunities to a lot of people. It produces exportable items, which increases the foreign exchange resources. So, agricultural sector is helpful to make rapid economic development. Real GDP growth rate is 2.4%.
16-  Self Reliance Policy
Agriculture sector is helpful to achieve the self-sufficiency. Our country will not only become self-sufficient in food but supply of raw materials for industries will also expand our industrial sector.
17-  Direct Foreign Investment
Now a day, use of advanced technologies in farming is common. It boost-up the industries like tractors, harvesters, thrashers, chemicals etc. It has increases the foreign direct investment in our country. It provides employments to our population and also increases the national income. Foreign investment is $ 1.8 billion in Pakistan.
18-  Controlling Inflation
Inflation refers to the increase in general price level. It may be due to increase in demand and shortage in supply. Agricultural sector is very helpful to control the inflation. It produces more goods and maintains the equilibrium in demand and supply. Rate of inflation is 14.1% in Pakistan.
19-  Reduction in Regional Disparities
Agriculture sector is the life-blood of our economy. Development of agriculture sector will increase the living standard of the rural population. This leads to reduce the urban and rural differences in the country.
20-  Demand for Industrial Goods
As the agriculture productivity increases, the income of farmers goes up. With the rise in income the demand for both agricultural goods (tractor, fertilizer, pesticides, tube-wells etc.) and industrial goods (television, mobile, computer etc.) will increase in rural areas. 
21-  Balanced Growth Economy
There exists close inter-dependence between agricultural sector and industrial sector. Agricultural sector will develop the industrial sector also. Income received by cultivator will develop the demand for the industrial goods. Its results are in balance growth of the economy.
22-  Increase in Govt. Revenue
There is no direct tax on the agricultural income. But indirectly government receives a huge amount of tax form agricultural sector. It imposed some duties on imported technologies applied in farming. It imposes tax on chemicals etc. So agriculture sector is also a source of income for the government.
Conclusion:
            Agriculture sector is playing an important role in the economic development of Pakistan. Our all-economic activities are based on agricultural sector. But, unfortunately it is still backward and government should take some effective steps for its improvement.

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