Pakistan’s agriculture industry: Challenges and a way forward

0
344
Pakistan’s agriculture industry: Challenges and a way forward

Shayan Qureshi

Introduction:

Pakistan’s agriculture industry, a cornerstone of the nation’s economy, has long been a vital source of livelihood for millions. With its vast arable land and diverse climatic conditions, the country holds immense potential for agricultural prosperity. However, this sector faces numerous challenges that hinder its growth and sustainability. From outdated farming techniques and water scarcity to the impacts of climate change and limited access to modern technology, the hurdles are significant. Despite these obstacles, there are also promising opportunities for transformation and improvement. This article delves into the problems plaguing Pakistan’s agriculture industry and explores the prospects that could lead to a more robust and resilient future for this critical sector.

Challenges:

Pakistan’s agriculture industry plays a vital role in developing the Pakistani economy. It is the hub of employment in the entire country, but still, this industry is countered by factors that decrease its potential to flourish. Some of these hurdles are mentioned below:

1. One of the significant potholes in this industry is the need for more water resources. Even though Pakistan has one of the most extensive irrigation systems in the world, we still face extensive challenges due to malpractices adopted decades ago. Farmers tend to have an over-reliance on canal water, which is considered an old-school method in the global agricultural system; this method is expensive and time-consuming, making it more difficult for the farmer to grow crops and effectively makes the prices of these crops higher. Furthermore, climate change has also manipulated the rain scenario in Pakistan.

Rain in the country is primarily unpredictable; there are points when rain doesn’t take place for months, and at other points, floods occur due to extensive monsoons. The timing of rain is also unpredictable, making the farmer unable to rely on rain at any cost.

2. Another letdown in the agriculture industry is that farmers tend to use old-school methods for growing crops; such procedures are labor-intensive but not high-yield producing; methods like vertical farming, Aquaponics and hydroponics are yet to be discovered by our local farmers. Due to financial constraints, the farmers need access to tubewells, tractors and quality, which are the bases of quality farming, making the crops hard to grow and lacking quality to a certain extent. The farmers need to be educated

better about the science behind crop growth and are still working on the old-school family traditions. In contrast, new methodologies are made much more productive and efficient.

3. The non-availability of adequate infrastructure is also a significant challenge faced by the farmers’ community. The lack of planned and gravel roads makes traveling hard in less time. Storage facilities are also few and owned mainly by private landlords, and the small-scale farmer cannot afford these high-tech facilities, resulting in a loss of harvest.

Way forward:

1. Firstly, The farmers should be taught and educated about the latest water techniques, including drip irrigation and sprinkler systems, which produce high yields and reduce water wastage, making them quite productive. Still, the government should be working to create new canals for crops like Rice that cannot work on low water systems and need extensive water flowing. New reservoirs to store water should be built for the convenience of farmers, and the old ones should be renovated, making them work to their full potential. The government could allow farmers to buy solar technology at sustainable rates, enabling them to install tube well systems for efficient water flow without any unwanted disruption.

2. Modernizing farming techniques is also essentially important. Providing farmers with modern seeds and technology would allow them to produce much higher yields, thus decreasing the overall rate of crops in the country and bringing a ripple chain effect of positivity. Government and private sector associations can allow the introduction of meaningful strategies for the education of farmers on these new technologies and new structures.

3. Developing road networks in rural areas is also significant as it allows the efficient transportation of crops from rural to urban areas in a short amount of time. The government should also set prices to such standards that would benefit the farmer community and keep them motivated to grow food for the entire country!

Conclusion:

Indeed, the government should understand the importance of the agriculture industry and should work forward to improving its overall state, making this industry one of its kind and preparing Pakistan to first complete its own food-related needs and then also export cropto makeng a stable economic profit!