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Agriculture in Pakistan

Agriculture in Pakistan

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Published by: Mian Muhammad Haseeb on Oct 01, 2010
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Agriculture In Pakistan
1/10/2010 To Mr. Yasir HayatAdnan KhanBBA (H) Section C
 
AGRICULTURE IN PAKISTAN
Farming is Pakistan's largest economic activity. In FY 1993, agriculture,and small-scale forestry and fishing, contributed 25 percent of GDP andemployed 48 percent of the labor force. Agricultural products, especiallycotton yarn, cotton cloth, raw cotton, and rice, are important exports.Although there is agricultural activity in all areas of Pakistan, most cropsare grown in the Indus River plain in Punjab and Sindh. Considerabledevelopment and expansion of output has occurred since the early1960s; however, the country is still far from realizing the large potentialyield that the well-irrigated and fertile soil from the Indus irrigationsystem could produce. The floods of September 1992 showed howvulnerable agriculture is to weather; agricultural production droppeddramatically in FY 1993.
Land Use
Pakistan's total land area is about 803,940 square kilometers. About 48million hectares, or 60 percent, is often classified as unusable for forestry or agriculture consists mostly of deserts, mountain slopes, andurban settlements. Some authorities, however, include part of this area asagricultural land on the basis that it would support some livestock activity even though it is poor rangeland. Thus, estimates of grazing landvary widely--between 10 percent and 70 percent of the total area. A broad interpretation, for example, categorizes almost all of aridBalochistan as rangeland for foraging livestock. Government officialslisted only 3 million hectares, largely in the north, as forested in FY1992. About 21.9 million hectares were cultivated in FY 1992. Around70 percent of the cropped area was in Punjab, followed by perhaps 20 percent in Sindh, less than 10 percent in the North-West Frontier Province, and only 1 percent in Balochistan.Since independence, the amount of cultivated land has increased bymore than one-third. This expansion is largely the result of improvements in the irrigation system that make water available toadditional plots. Substantial amounts of farmland have been lost tourbanization and waterlogging, but losses are more than compensated for 
 
 by additions of new land. In the early 1990s, more irrigation projectswere needed to increase the area of cultivated land.The scant rainfall over most of the country makes about 80 percent of cropping dependent on irrigation. Fewer than 4 million hectares of land,largely in northern Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province, aretotally dependent on rainfall. An additional 2 million hectares of land areunder nonirrigated cropping, such as plantings on floodplains as thewater recedes. Nonirrigated farming generally gives low yields, andalthough the technology exists to boost production substantially, it isexpensive to use and not always readily available.
Irrigation
In the early 1990s, irrigation from the Indus River and its tributariesconstituted the world's largest contiguous irrigation system, capable of watering over 16 million hectares. The system includes three major storage reservoirs and numerous barrages, headworks, canals, anddistribution channels. The total length of the canal system exceeds58,000 kilometers; there are an additional 1.6 million kilometers of farmand field ditches.Partition placed portions of the Indus River and its tributaries under India's control, leading to prolonged disputes between India and Pakistanover the use of Indus waters. After nine years of negotiations andtechnical studies, the issue was resolved by the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. After a ten-year transitional period, the treaty awarded India use of the waters of the main eastern tributaries in its territory--the Ravi, Beas,and Sutlej rivers. Pakistan received use of the waters of the Indus River and its western tributaries, the Jhelum and Chenab rivers.After the treaty was signed, Pakistan began an extensive and rapidirrigation construction program, partly financed by the Indus BasinDevelopment Fund of US$800 million contributed by various nations,including the United States, and administered by the World Bank.Several immense link canals were built to transfer water from westernrivers to eastern Punjab to replace flows in eastern tributaries that India

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