Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262

Sustainable agriculture and eradication of rural poverty in Pakistan
Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi

Poverty is rampant in the rural areas of Pakistan, where people are in a state of deprivation with regard to incomes,
clothing, housing, healthcare, education, sanitary facilities and human rights. Agriculture generates nearly 20.9 percent of
the country’s GDP and provides employment for 43.4 percent of its workforce. Most importantly, 65.9 percent of the
population living in rural areas is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Rising population,
shrinking agricultural land, increasing demand for water resources, widespread land degradation and inadequate
infrastructure appear to be major concerns of the agriculture sector in Pakistan. An attempt has been made to examine the
population growth–agriculture growth–poverty alleviation linkage. It is argued that agriculture will continue to be one of
the most important sectors of Pakistan’s economy for years to come. To alleviate poverty, it is suggested that Pakistan
enhance the productivity of the agriculture sector through the provision of a series of inputs including provision of easy
credit to the small farmer, availability of quality fertilizers and pesticides, tractor and harvester services, improvement in
the effectiveness of the vast irrigation system and, finally, farmer education. It is concluded that the high rate of population
growth needs to be curbed for increased agricultural productivity to have any significant effect on poverty in rural areas
of Pakistan.
Keywords: Rural poverty; Agriculture sector; Population growth–agriculture growth–poverty alleviation linkage; Pakistan.

1. Introduction Pakistan will require food production for larger populations
from less and less land. The biggest challenge is how to
In Pakistan the increasing rate of poverty in rural areas has increase output from the shrinking agricultural sector,
prompted debate on growth and productivity trends in the while sustaining the productivity potential of the available
agriculture sector. The average annual growth in agriculture natural resources.
was over 3.52% from 1995–96 to 2004–05; however
over the last five years agriculture growth has witnessed
mixed trends (See Table 1). Consequently, the rate of 2. Role of agriculture in economy
poverty in rural areas reached 38.65% in 2002–03.
Poverty is rampant in rural areas, where people are in a Early classical theory viewed economic development as a
state of deprivation with regard to incomes, clothing, growth process requiring the systematic reallocation of
housing, healthcare, education, sanitary facilities and production factors from a primary sector characterized by
human rights. Due to increasing population, natural low productivity, traditional technology, and decreasing
resources are gradually depleting, putting major constraints returns to a modern industrial sector with higher
on the efforts to eradicate poverty. The complex and productivity and increasing profits (Adelman, 2001).
enormous problems include declining availability of Agriculture was seen as a low-productivity, traditional
agricultural land and workforce, marginal producers with sector that only passively contributed to development by
small land holdings, decreasing per capita land availability, providing food and employment.
conflicting demand for scarce water resources, urbanization Beginning in the 1960s, a major revision in development
and youth evading traditional farming. In the coming years, thinking contended that agriculture had a central role as a
driver of growth, especially in the early stages of
industrialization. This strategy was later labeled agricultural-
Abdul Waheed Bhutto is Assistant Professor, Dawood College of Engineering
and Technology, Karachi-Pakistan. Email: demand-led-industrialization (ADLI) (Johnston and
Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi is Assistant Professor, COMSAT Institute of Information Mellor, 1961; Schultz, 1964; Adelman, 1984). The ADLI
Technology, Lahore-Pakistan. Email: strategy stressed the central role of increased agricultural
© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.
Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA.

20 26.60 1995–96 2.40 7. rural non-farm growth The unprecedented fall in global poverty in Asia in the last three decades reflects a large contribution from successful Agricultural productivity growth stimulates rural non-farm agricultural transformation (Datt and Ravallion.72 1996–97 2. 2004).8 0.30 2004–05 2. (2001b).70 Sources: GOP (2005a).4 43. the denominator is the area under the uniform distribution line.30 26. 2005). reduction. Ravallion and Chen.60 28.1 6.1 1994–95 2. Thus. First.50 1992–93 2. leather.40 7. (2001a).6 11.2 1.37 7.12 33.11 1.6 29.60 26.7 32.8 1993–94 2.8 1999–00 2.10 2002–03 2. productivity in achieving industrialization through expanding Agriculture accounts for nearly 20. Economic indicators of Pakistan Facial Year Population GDP growth Agriculture Poverty Indices: Income Inequality growth rate rate growth rate Head-count (Percentages) (%) (%) (%) Rural % Urban % Total % Gini co-efficient1 Lowest 20% Highest 20% 1990–91 5. 65.4% of the country’s characteristics of agriculture during the early stages of workforce and accounts for nearly 9% of the country’s development justified its place in early development export earnings (GOP.24 5. employs 43. including rural towns. 1976). as in much of Asia (Mellor.254 Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 Table 1.10 0.09 2000–01 2. The linkage has proven most powerful when agricultural growth is driven by broad- based productivity increases in a rural economy dominated 1 The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion most by small farms. 1976.0 44.1 –0. economic activities.9% of Pakistan’s demand for goods produced by domestic industry. the direct impact of agriculture growth on poverty thereby making a large contribution to overall growth.36 3.4 5.30 24. © 2007 The Authors.9 46. agriculture produces goods that directly raw material to domestic agro-based industries. such as land of the country’s population living in rural areas is directly and agro-ecological assets. and the positive externalities from assuring food 3.39 31.20 39.7 0.0 22.23 4. In addition to sector through the adoption of science-based technology. It is defined as a ratio with values favorable expenditure patterns for promoting growth of the between 0 and 1: the numerator is the area between the Lorenz curve of local non-farm economy.80 2003–04 2.7 4. since they the distribution and the uniform distribution line. Most importantly.40 26. which are generally more labour intensive coefficient indicates more unequal distribution. ghee. early development theorists (GOP. 2006).13 3.40 6. 1986. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.95 34.40 6.20 25.3 49.52 1998–99 2.20 3. Second. 1998a.20 4.70 0.8 –2.40 –5. a number of through the linkages between agriculture and non-farm features specific to the sector enhance its contribution to growth in rural areas.5 2. pro-poor growth. King and Byerlee. agricultural production sugar.0 47.1 22. Hazell and Haggblade. 1991). this sector provides thinking. a low Gini coefficient spend higher shares of income on agricultural goods and indicates more equal income or wealth distribution.4 1991–92 2. Small- prominently used as a measure of inequality of income distribution or to medium-sized farm households typically have more inequality of wealth distribution..9 6.41 6. Given the high percentage of people in believed that agriculture could grow independently of other Pakistan who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. there is also a much larger indirect effect Beyond its direct contribution to growth.6 5. growth. . and textiles.5 4. especially where infrastructure and the investment 1998b. Since natural resources were or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood assumed to be freely available. including the concentration of the poor in the sector.6 0.90 25.41 7.3 1997–98 2. Two key national income (GDP).10 38.65 22.7 20.87 9.26 8.00 25.1 2001–02 2. while a high Gini services. It was also recognized that traditional little progress can be made on poverty reduction if this agriculture could be transformed rapidly into a modern sector languishes with a slow rate of growth.34 1.9% combines human effort with natural resources. (Mellor.28 4.6 6. 2007). Linkage of agricultural productivity growth and security and reducing food prices (Byerlee et al. the large size of its growth linkages to other sectors. climate are already in place (Barnes and Binswanger. 1978.80 0. Hazell and Roell.9 30. Moreover. such as satisfy basic human needs.

there appears to be a higher incidence of vulnerable population exists as a result of changing vulnerability of falling into and remaining in poverty economic conditions. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations. and poor access to basic services such as electricity and water supply (World Bank. The line has to be used and expressed in a common unit across country witnessed unprecedented drought during 2000–01 countries.5% (GOP. when private investment in agriculture reached its peak. This suggests a high proportion of poverty addition. poverty lines vary in time and 4. In 2004–05. Poverty means hunger. This might have affected the cost 4. while the rural poor became human capital plays a positive and significant role and the poorer. Agriculture growth access to medical facilities. 2002. Fertilizer. Declining trends in poverty continued in the 1980s. The population grew at an average rate of levels have started to rise. Population growth major reason behind falling poverty trends in the country. 2003). Construction consumption that is equivalent to 75% of the poverty line activities are also accelerated with agricultural growth. the resources to migrate. floods. These figures do show that the share of the middle poorest of the poor possess neither the human capital nor classes has also gone down. the World Bank uses reference lines set at negative growth in these two years. thus generating population falls between the poverty line and a level of employment and incomes in the adjoining areas. remarkable growth in the 1970s (ADB. therefore. Poverty can be recognized by the deprivation of economic. electricity and water rose. 2005a). This vulnerable group needs During the 1990s. Bari. where its a much larger increase in employment. agriculture registered and comparison. lack of 5. . which is a key average growth rate stayed above the population growth vehicle for poverty reduction (Mellor. Poverty of production and income levels. this position was retained intermittently for a levels. rural poverty increased significantly. textiles Planning Commission. level of development. This minimum level is called the poverty line. 2001). the government reduced subsidies in special attention.54% which was lower than the average in the 1980s.95 million in better performance of the agriculture sector (ADB. 2003). Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 255 1983). water shortage and frequent natural calamities like basic needs. as much as 63% of the poor and electronic goods and ornaments. Despite the fairly strong 3% per annum from 1951 until the mid-1980s. A common method being a net exporter of food products as well as cash crops. In (GOP.65% in 2002–03 (see Table 1). therefore. 2001). The increased demand for non-farm goods leads to performance of agriculture over the 1990s. witnessed a modest recovery in agricultural growth as a Poverty in rural areas of Pakistan during the 1960s was result of improvement in the availability of water for 42. The Gini Coefficient. Every country uses lines which are appropriate to its Agricultural output over the 1990s varied from year to year. This was the period reached as high as 7. However the incidence of rural poverty decreased irrigation purposes. import of food items has become indispensable. A person is considered poor if his or her consumption short time. So even though rural incomes were urban areas seem to be more prosperous. has also increased significantly during 1990 agriculture. Until the late 1960s. 2002). When Although the growth rate was slightly lower. a measure of among households which are dependent solely on inequality. in rural either in labour reallocation or migration. In 1990–91. agricultural growth since peasant farmers spend a large Poverty in Pakistan is characterized by large amounts portion of their incremental income on locally produced. Since the early eighties. Rural areas that are well connected with the (See Table 1). There was also very heavy out-migration from the rural areas which resulted in increased foreign remittances. In both cases. The next two years US$ 1 and US$ 2 per day in 1993 (World Bank. used to measure poverty is based on incomes or consumption Thereafter. cultural and social rights. the same reference poverty positive throughout except for the period 1992–93. rural In Pakistan. consequently. 2005. pesticide and seed markets were directly hit by these cuts while the prices of fuel. According to the non-agricultural goods. since the late 1980s.28%. it remained estimating poverty worldwide. areas. The rich. in part because increasing in the 1990s. continued to get richer. for the purpose of global aggregation and 2001–02 and.2% against 38. It means being unable to send children to school and items and had enjoyed a favorable balance of trade for often needing them to work instead. rural poverty the world. Population © 2007 The Authors. of clustering around the poverty line. due to high population or income falls below a minimum level necessary to meet growth. place. The What is necessary to satisfy basic needs varies across time average annual agriculture growth rate over the 1990s was and societies. including consumer items. rate. agricultural inputs. 2002. Pakistan produced a surplus of food 2001). non-farm growth is closely linked with poverty was 25. a 6. However. societal norms and values. making it the seventh most populous country in IUCN. The population of Pakistan has increased from 33 million largely due to the inflow of remittances and the relatively at the time of independence in 1947 to 153. there were increasing distributional the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas results asymmetries that were also coming in.

It was assumed that women’s positions would control over decision making. social and 20% of the population. purchasers. Nadav (1996) found are not paid but are fed. distribution. Poverty and gender aspects In order to strengthen the roles of women in agriculture. Men use family labour in the field and female members Drawing on a sample of 97 countries. women should be paid and Until recently women were considered in rural development have control over the cash earned as a result of their labour.7% respectively girls experience intra-household discrimination in food (GOP. Gender discriminatory with the average population growth of developed and practices are prevalent in Pakistani society. norms which circumscribe women’s mobility and social inadequate and irregular access to food reduces labour interactions. on average. Benefits are largest for the urban poor and landless labourers. clothed and provided with a dowry that nutritional levels had a large and highly significant by fathers at the time of marriage. since they are net food they do. The most important pro-poor women find it difficult to compete for access to social and linkage is generated by the effects of agricultural productive assets on an equal footing with men. Thirtle et al. gap between female ownership and control is due to a mix food security. due to the relatively lower skills base of Increased agricultural productivity also brings strong women generally. In rural communities. (2001) concluded cultural restrictions on women’s mobility and occupational from a major cross-country analysis that. 2005a). Land rights are regulated by Islamic law. of the family.61% increase in the incomes of the poorest is determined by rigid gender role ideologies. poor growth linkages (Timmer. Overcoming attempt has been made to incorporate the value of such hunger and malnutrition is now explicitly recognized as the activities within the national accounts. 1986. Women and developing countries which is 0.6% per annum However. and labour. 9. illiteracy. Agriculture growth and the role of gender induced decline in the real prices of staple foods. and farm workers also reduce poverty by providing a general practice deviates from principle to the detriment of market for labour-intensive consumer goods. At the micro level. programmes as adjuncts to their husbands. Widely shared increases in incomes of farmers 2007).9 and 1. shelter by sons (Panhwar. the impoverishment is very poor farm households as well as households of landless acute in households critically dependent on women’s labour labourers who primarily depend on agricultural wages. domestic tasks. information. or as daughters Greater control of income by women will enhance their or mothers.93% compared to 71. The current growth rate is considerably high compared (Commonwealth Secretariat. impact on economic growth. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.97% for men in Pakistan (GOP. 1998). 2002). when even many poor farmers benefit. As a result. 8. The that increased caloric intake reduced mortality and raised productive work done within the household and in productivity amongst the working poor during the early agriculture fields by women has been ignored and not much stages of Western Europe’s development. women typically do not own land and. Fogel (1991) has also reported and when widowed. The poor typically spend a high share of their income on staple foods. positively affect the wealth improve as the economic prosperity of their husbands did. however. this assumption denied the unequal power between 1985 and 2000. 2001). (1997) men to every 100 women (GOP. ornaments by husbands. 2005b). Gallup et al. productivity growth on food prices (Timmer. and male control over (access to) productivity and decreases investment in human capital technology. and therefore they benefit from a productivity. Pakistan is also one of the few countries in the world where Evidence consistently shows that agricultural growth is the sex ratio is biased in favor of men and there are 108 highly effective in reducing poverty. and their restricted mobility. 1978. for survival. . Since 2000–01 the country’s relationships which exist between men and women and population has grown at an annual average rate of almost between people of different castes.2%. and macroeconomic stability beyond the pro. women. According to Agarwal (1994) in South Asia the Agriculture makes important contributions to nutrition. reason behind the exceptionally low female labour participation rate of 18. they typically do not control it (Morrison et al. especially the collection of water and based agricultural productivity growth raises incomes of firewood. races and classes 2. but In Pakistan.256 Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 growth slowed to an average rate of 2. every segregation. This is evident from gender disaggregated statistics whereby female literacy is only 42% as compared to 65% for men and gender gaps 7. 1994).83%. among other things. of interrelated factors including. and thereby improve their status. Strauss. Another important barrier to women working 1% increase in agricultural yields reduced the number of for pay in the rural sector is the time burden imposed by people living on less than US$ 1 a day by 0.. 2007). Agricultural growth and poverty persist at all levels of the education system (GOP. reported that every 1% increase in per capita agricultural Women’s participation in the labour market in Pakistan output led to a 1. Broad. 1997). 2007). This is the main first Millennium Development Goal. and may help in closing the © 2007 The Authors. indirect benefits for the poor. (Bliss and Stern. healthcare and education. especially girls. Fogel.

1 47. livestock.1 11. For the self-employed. © 2007 The Authors.7 13. 2003) as the income from the former of women.3 39. small-scale family farming in realizing the potential of pro- farm crops/products accounted for 49. 2005). reforms undertaken in Korea in the 1950s which limited wholesale and retail trade appear to be the most important the amount of land any individual could own.8 17.8 16.6 24.3 0.6 25. The poor households 40% of their income (GOP.8 15.1 17.4 33.0 7. Burgess (2000) find that land reforms in India were centrated in the construction sector. salaries and self-employment income are the documented significant productivity gains from the land major sources of non-farm income. 10. whereas wage employees are con. Nazli (2003) found in all the countries studied had a larger family size with a that 47% of rural households depend either on farm or greater dependency ratio. An increase of activities in this sector has Table 2 shows the agricultural land distribution by farm important consequences for poverty reduction in the size in Pakistan. Land reform and security of land tenure The major sources of income in rural Pakistan are The literature has consistently underlined the key role of farming. effect in those Indian states with the greatest initial land The majority of the non-poor are large landholders and inequality. accounted for 1. Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 257 income and education gaps between genders (Morrison be high for those who depend solely on livestock or on et al.2 7.3 12. Eighty- country.2 34.4 0. Excessive land fragmentation and sub- and livestock. wages and poor growth.5%.4 1. However poverty is found to size and cover only 38.0 26. The construction associated with lower poverty and higher agricultural sector absorbs most of the unskilled and low-skilled wages.3 27.3 0. proportionate to the decrease in the number of large and poor are small landholders that depend on both crops mid-sized farms.4 28. in the long run.2 27. income. Only Table 2. quality of the labour force and hence to productivity.73% of A drop in the Gini coefficient for the size of operational average household income in rural areas.5 5 to < 12.7 21. domestic and international significant negative relationship between land inequality as remittance accounted for 11. since a little support enables a landless farmer to one percent of farms owned are less than 5 hectares in generate his income stream.9 19. agricultural wages and salaries and domestic and relatively equitable land distribution and the dominance of international remittance.0 5.5 10. .6 3. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.49%. They do find that land reforms had their greatest labour.5 to < 25 23.1 25 to < 50 9.3 50 to < 150 3.5 9.0 18. Increasing the education and income level small land (Nazli.7 6.5 44. 2007).. will not only contribute to the accounts for only 1. Nazli land holdings of one standard deviation would increase and Haq (2000) and Adams and He (1995) found that output per hectare by 8.14%.3 15. Land distribution is much skewed.7 3.5 57. 2007). Sources of income in rural households 11.84% and rental income for 1. livestock for their livelihood while 13% of households Landlessness and the limited access to land is a glaring depend solely on livestock.7% of the total farm area.0 15.8 21. increase in population is depend on crops.0 28. however a significant percentage of non.7 2.6 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 Source: UN (2000). On the other side.6 > 150 0. Besley and economic activities. Jeon and Kim (2000) have wages.1 14. Livestock is an important component of division of landholdings from generation to generation are livelihood in rural Pakistan as 30–35 million people are also causing a persistent decline in the size of farms and involved in livestock raising and these contribute 35 to therefore in agricultural productivity. Classification of farms in Pakistan by size Size of farm (acres) Number of farms (%) Farm area (%) 1960 1972 1980 1990 2000 1960 1972 1980 1990 2000 Under 5 19. Adams and He (1995) have feature of rural poverty in Pakistan.1 23. Arif.2 11. farming live product measured by the Gini coefficient and output per hectare.1 8.5 4. Work carried out by Vollrath (2006) shows a salaries accounted for 35.5 0.8 27.9 9.81%.5 27.1 11.9 12.84% of rural incomes (Malik.2 8. According to Malik (2005).9 39.5 19.8 1. Smaller farms tend to termed livestock as an inequality reducing source of be less diversified and unable to cope with vulnerability.3 2. but This clearly indicates that the poor tend to be landless also to food security through a lower rate of population livestock owners or small landholders who do not own growth.2 16.

. This suggests providing easy functioning finance markets. Such efforts have met with varying Although land and labour are the most important assets of degrees of success in different countries depending on the the poor in the early stages of growth. However. which is attributed to poor quality seed. further However. The yield of major crops in government investment in on-going. Land availability has become agricultural productivity is imperative to support the a constraint in increasing food production and supply. especially in modernizing agriculture. in order to reduce the dependence on the rural non-farm growth. access to education correlation of socio-political forces. poverty. This suggests broad based land reforms are required to ensure equitable access to 13. And. inefficient use of will be available for the agricultural sector in the next 2–3 fertilizers.44 million cubic feet of additional water seed rate. Rising agricultural productivity is productivity growth in agriculture to increase agricultural central to economic development and has been studied by output through technological innovations and efficiency. water-related projects Pakistan is significantly below the demonstrated potential will bring an additional 2. Over the long term. methods to heighten their security and empower them will lead to poverty reduction. efforts to access to credit. Poverty among sharecroppers has project is in the forest reserve and other protected areas. Access to education productive resources and the restructuring of rural society on an egalitarian line. Production efficiency hectares are available for farming in Pakistan (GOP. ways that increase the will not only affect the well-being of the poor. A sizeable portion of about 31 million transformation of the agricultural sector. However. 2005a). Additional land under cultivation Out of 79. Therefore. low irrigation and 4. the source of hectares are forests and rangelands. hope for equipping the rural poor with the skills to training and health. been found to be considerably higher. 12. Agricultural sources that are independent of land in order to reduce rural productivity. 2003). The land use data for sustenance of the bulk of the nation’s people. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations. accounting years. Irrigated agriculture is practiced on 16 million hectares and Development economists say that industrialization cannot the remaining 4 million hectares utilize rain fed (known as achieve the goal of prosperity without the simultaneous Barani) farming. participate in expanding on-farm and off-farm diversification opportunities. while big farms prefer farming systems that are more particularly in rural areas.88 million acres of land under (see Table 3). there is a need for generating off-farm by investment in rural education and access to well- employment opportunities. 2000).8% of the farm area. centre of any government policies in the past decade. The cropping arrangements and to find ways to address poverty impact of government policy should be examined. unsuitable rules for intensive in capital as they can afford to take risks in the acquiring access to land can lead to environmental degradation. only 20 million 14. and migration are all stimulated agricultural sector. there is an urgent need in the long run to to improve the quality of that education remain the best enhance human capital through better quality education. hope of higher returns.8% of large farms hold more than 10 hectares. The government is expecting that it will boost for 39. risky. combined has seen a concentration of development in the urban with rapid population growth is resulting in rising manufacturing sector. Even though the last decade diminishing supply of per capita arable land. efficiently managed water resources. including migration to better paid employment in urban areas. In addition. the scarcity without outside aid. 2003).6 million hectares in the country. in the last decade show that the total area under cultivation the presence of an ever increasing population. and capital is more important in modernizing agriculture There is also a need to concentrate more on income and rural non-farm sector development. The implementation of the Pakistan government’s land Because of highly skewed distribution of land capitalization policy will negatively impact on the quality ownership. The growing needs of the people. conventional sowing methods. the historians of many countries (Allen. technology and information in the short improve access to schooling in rural areas and especially run. Small farms tend to use agriculture output. environmental degradation has not been at the research is needed to understand tenancy and share. Crop yields The government emphasis is on bringing additional land have received considerable attention and progress has been under cultivation through provision of adequate and made in understanding their evolution. According to the The productivity of land can potentially respond to land Economic Survey of Pakistan 2004–05 (GOP. the incidence of sharecropping in Pakistan has of the environment since some land in the capitalization increased in recent years. In general. a rise in remained static (GOP. Pakistan is still essentially an urbanization. but also the opportunity of the poor to earn increased incomes and quality of natural resources and the environment. productivity and employment in rural farming systems that are more labour intensive and less areas in a sustained manner and will help reduce poverty. Significant improvements are required in agricultural economy. poor management practices and low level of © 2007 The Authors.258 Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 6. since it among those groups.

5 7. tractor and harvester more favorable to commercial farmers. 2006) (GOP. The production efficiency can be Current globalization has affected all countries with an improved through the use of appropriate technologies. The prices of inputs in the production process have to which predominated in the early 1960s contributed to be rationalized to reduce the costs of cultivation. demographics dominating and agriculture is getting commercialized due and population studies are generally in agreement that to private sector investment. In addition. breakthrough in the form of high yielding varieties of rice © 2007 The Authors. 1961).0 2. improvement in the efficiency of the vast adopt them or may do so with a long time lag when irrigation system.6 1.9 3. machinery. the poor may not services. The the reach of the small farmers and the old technologies are first aim of the government of Pakistan should be to also getting outdated as the products are not of the right enhance the productivity of the agricultural sector through quality to compete in the new global markets. The development of improved how to use agricultural innovations for the exploitation of cultivators and management practices. inherent yield potentials. the number of poor. the government should 1999. These are unadulterated fertilizer and pesticide. utilization of cultivable wastes and conditions become favorable.86 160. the improved plant nutrition and crop protection technologies shift into cash cropping will press farmers to sacrifice their have been in the forefront of contributions to increased crop own food crops and lead to more food insecurity.7 48. 1989). which in turn held down This cast some light on the research–poverty alleviation linkage.9 0. mechanization. due to agro-business and the service sector in rural areas is the impact of the green revolution.42 Sources: GOP (2006). long-term development. linked to lower food prices. .15 Maize –– ––– 3. Improved the provision of required capital inputs to accelerate the crop varieties could easily be adopted by small farmers. as well as for development is agriculturally related (Pryor and Holt.8 Rice 6. 2006) per hectare) (UN. 2000). It is known empirically that of poverty. The development of the rice yields increased several fold. 2000) (Tonnes per hectare) Cotton (lint) 8. Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 259 Table 3.4 3. 15. urban wages and stimulated industrialization and structural The Asian successes were generated by a technological transformation. Gemmell et al. 2002) has indicated that new technologies generally benefit the poor after a time lag. UN (2000). Wheat and inevitably push up food prices. the Agriculture has strong direct forward linkages to agricultural benefits of technology will accrue to the second generation processing and backward linkages to input-supply industries and not necessarily to those who are currently in the grip (Johnston and Mellor. Value addition and potential yield gaps of various crops in Pakistan Crops Share in total value added in Share in GDP (%) National Average Yield Potential Yield (Tonnes Yield Gaps agriculture (%) (GOP. Therefore. In the 1970s.718 Wheat 13.4 0. The technologies are generated improvements in agricultural productivity will break the based on demand.0 111. Advances in agricultural science and technology have landholders exerting control over the rural labour and increased productivity and have a significant role in the capital market has to be abolished for the transformation quest to improve food and nutritional security and reduce mechanisms to have any effect. Agricultural research has led to significant increases in Agricultural technologies and techniques are constantly productivity and enhanced incomes in developing countries changing and farmers need to be made aware of and know (Lipton and Longhurst.61 6. farm mechanization.4 0. The industrial sector is Researchers in environmental economics. These inputs range from provision it may not be the case with other technologies such as of easy credit to the small farmers. Technological developments in agriculture Even the green revolution technologies. etc. technological make arrangements to provide the poor with the knowledge change and productivity growth in agriculture were and skills needed to enable new technology to benefit them.117 9. This indicates that research should be targeted a large share of manufacturing in the early stages of towards poor farmers over the short term. finally farmer’s education. These technologies may not be within population–poverty–environmental degradation cycle. rural poverty declined imperative to absorb the pressure of surplus labour. aggressive market based economy. which initially worked against the poor. yields in many developing countries. but transformation process.48 6. availability of irrigation. high tech agriculture. benefited them later on. 2006) (Tonnes per hectare) (GOP. As evident in Asian countries.7 3. In addition.1 1. which unprecedented increases in food production. The green revolution. The as agricultural growth and purchasing power of the people existence of the powerful informal sector with large rose.3 2. A study in India (Chadha. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.38 Sugar cane 3.682 1..

especially when farmers rangelands and make unbalanced fertilizer applications. Economic growth also benefits the poor. overgraze jump in agricultural productivity. wellbeing of the largest and most rapidly growing section under natural conditions. 1994). the direct cause of productivity is the answer to realization of each of these degradation. reduces developments in biotechnology are driven by private and poverty. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations. Admittedly. has to be sustained and targeted for a meaningful reduction In Pakistan. taken together. Pakistan has also made significant becomes victim to pests each year. education. biodiversity and remained dismal in the 1990s which caused poverty to rise. . However. some success stories seen a lasting reduction in poverty. extensive efforts to integrate its economy with the rest of the world use of pesticides on crops has yielded contaminated by lowering tariffs and taking measures to open its commodities. Historical records have shown that agricultural © 2007 The Authors. the Government adopted a strategy for poverty reduction in 2001. and there are concerns about yield possess the resources. as well as for the welfare of the urban with salt affected conditions has proved a major limiting population and those working in agro-industrial enterprises. Therefore. Like many other became more severe. contribution to capital formation. crop yields and farm incomes. 2003). different strategies boosting growth for a short period. Many developing countries have succeeded in is salt affected. This strategy focuses mainly on five 16. Particularly.260 Abdul Waheed Bhutto and Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi / Natural Resources Forum 31 (2007) 253–262 and wheat. In addition. intensive use of land. Being enriched by inputs from both conventional and modern 17. intensive work is going on to exploit biotech macro level. Since the green revolution. therefore. Drought coupled Jayasuriya. ii) investing in The impact of population on agricultural production includes human capital. (GOP. iii) augmenting targeted interventions. also had access to fertilizer and irrigation. The result is small farms. a need for higher inputs to maintain stagnation. there has been increasing socio-economic and scientific infrastructure on a sound acceptance worldwide that rapid economic growth over a basis in all developing countries like Pakistan. public health in many parts of the country. a major portion of irrigated and rain-fed area in poverty. such as provision of food to the nation. biotechnology has emerged thus accentuating the cycle. iv) low land per capita. these proved timely. Across prolonged period is essential for poverty reduction. factor in the success of these conventional approaches to In the past 20 years. None of these helped the farming A vibrant agriculture in Pakistan is central to the sector on a sustainable and long-term basis. About 30–50% of food produced developing countries. but only commercial agricultural interests and we are yet to see any if effective measures are taken focusing on and directly impact on food crops grown by small-scale farmers in the empowering them. accounting for the rising trends in poverty during the 1990s. East Asia being a classic exist within the domain of these approaches but in most example. However. the recent increases the income of the people and. Poverty and land degradation areas which include i) accelerating economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability. where farmers has been much slower. At the micro level. economic growth implies greater availability knowledge augmented with genome reshuffling to address of public resources to improve the quantity and quality of major agricultural and environmental issues like salinity. growth and strengthened its macroeconomic indicators by Likewise the pest problem remained unresolved and implementing macroeconomic reforms. increase in population. cases. goals. Improvement in agricultural sustainable land management practices. Poverty reduction strategy scientific experimentation like genomic research. The performance of the economy played havoc with environmental quality. and a higher expanding social safety nets and v) improving governance household income generation dependency ratio on land. bio- technology could prove a panacea for uplifting degraded Over the past several decades. low increase in exports. lead to non. At the the globe. Poor farmers are forced to clear forests. health and other services. This increases land shortage In the present scenarios. which provided a historically unprecedented cultivate steep slopes without conservation. the country has generated economic the attainment of sustainable agriculture. revolution has so far failed to resolve. and securing shortage and poverty. The two most important driving forces behind the land Agriculture plays an important role in economic degradation in Pakistan are limited land resources and development. Indiscriminate use of pesticides has also economy for investment. it has not been possible to reap a of the population living in rural villages (Coxhead and large harvest due to the arid conditions. markets for industrialization. transfer of manpower to non-agricultural production per person and increasing landlessness. Land sectors. While consistent Land degradation then leads to reduced productivity: a productivity gains have been achieved since then. rapid growth is vital. drought and biodiversity degradation which the green economic growth creates employment opportunities. growth lower response to the same inputs or. but it developing world. But only those that have based on physio-chemical methodologies have been proposed achieved higher economic growth over a long period have by scientific communities. as a novel area of scientific endeavour with huge potential to realize the dream of sustainable agriculture.

population growth and agricultural for policy. Greater control of income by in developing countries must begin by recognizing that they women will positively affect the wealth of the family. and should increase food security Pakistan’s poverty reduction strategy is that it is aimed at through a lower rate of population growth. All our poverty reduction strategies should by undertaking reforms proposed by the scientific primarily focus on development of the agriculture sector communities. Fallacies in development theory and their implications poverty. Country experiences in the post- electrification and rural roads and transport should also reform era. markets infrastructure. World Development. Pakistan has great should be based on novel ideas that have direct impacts on potential in agriculture and should keep on working on its food crops grown by small-scale farmers. Pakistan Development Review. Jr. DC and Oxford. which the contribution of each of these factors has been The high rate of population growth needs to be checked quantified in the existing literature.. important sectors of Pakistan’s economy and has the Agarwal. Issues. (iii) should be promoted at academic and research institutes to inadequate availability of quality seed. (i) soil erosion and degradation. are mainly rural phenomena and that agriculture is at the especially girls. 2001. H. I.F. The above trend in agricultural process could be called ‘agricultural transformation’. In Meier. major concerns in the agriculture sector. Bari. DC. Asian Development Bank (ADB) — Pakistan Resident Mission. This whole the rural poor. 1995. shrinking agricultural land. European Review of Economic History. since it has higher employment elasticity than 1455–1478. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations. rural industries. 18. Washington. tractor and 389 – 430. Rural non-agricultural expanding industrial and urban sectors. 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