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.
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