Co-operation in the Agriculture Sector
About 29 percent of Pakistan's total land area is cultivated.
Agriculture and related activities, including fishing, engage
48.4 percent of the workforce and provide 24.5 percent of the
Chief cash crops are cotton (textile yarn and fabrics produce
more than one-half of export earnings) and rice.
Principal crops in 2002 included sugarcane, 52.1 million tons;
wheat, 19.2 million tons; rice, 4.5 million tons; cotton lint,
10.2 million bales; and maize, 1.7 million tons.
Livestock included cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and poultry.
Fishing resources, although underdeveloped, are extensive.
Types of fish caught include sardines, sharks, and anchovies;
shrimp are also an important part of the industry.
Most of the land in Pakistan is arid and requires adequate
supply of water. Pakistan has one of the most extensive
canal-based irrigation systems in the world.
However, Pakistan has a wide range of agro-climatic zones
where all kinds of crops, fruits, vegetable and food can be
produced. During the past decades, the Government also
developed favourable credit and loan policies for farmers.
We have seen an impressive improvement in the number of
tractors and other machines in the sector.
Improved mechanisation gave a boost to agricultural
productivity. It has resulted in self-sufficiency in various
crops and Government of Pakistan has laid considerable
emphasis on the growth of this sector.
In the international co-operation arena, Pakistan has good
relations with several international agencies including
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations World
Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, JICA,
ICIMOD, International Water Management Institute (IWMI),
Centre for Coarse Grains, Pulses, Roots and Tubers (CGPRT),
Centre for Maize and Wheat Development (CYMMIT), ICARDA, IRRI,
and many more.
This co-operation spans over several areas. The relations with
Bilateral and Multilateral agencies including collaboration
research programmes, training of scientists and experts,
exchange of research information, international seminars,
projects, workshops and symposia have provided impetus to the
efforts of Government in this regard.
Overall international co-operation also includes excellent
relations with individual friendly countries as well as
regional forums like SAARC, OIC and ECO.
In the. recent years we have seen thawing up of international
relations with very positive trends being seen in the case of
our major donors Japan and the United States. Resumption of
Japanese Grant for Pakistan is indeed a healthy sign.
Recently, US Deputy Secretary of State for Agriculture visited
Pakistan and expressed the resolve of his government to assist
Pakistan in the field of agriculture in several major areas.
Under a recent development, British Commonwealth has restored
membership of Pakistan and co-operation in the field of
agriculture, exchange of know how, and interaction of
scientists will grow.
China has been an old ally and friend of Pakistan. Main
co-operation with China in the agriculture sector is being-
undertaken within the purview of 16thProtocol on Scientific
and Technical Co-operation between Pakistan and China.
Main thrust of the 16th Protocol is on exchange of research,
exchange of germplasm, agricultural mechanisation and training
It is hoped that these gestures will open up new vistas of
international co-operation in agriculture sector to the
Pakistan has very active linkages with FAO, WFP, UNDP, JICA
and other international donor agencies.
A list of important meetings being regularly attended by
Pakistan is annexed. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council is
operating an extensive network of its research facilities
which have resulted in development of several new crop breeds,
new technologies, and identification of potential threats for
A large number of scientists working in the PARC and the
research network under its umbrella have received training
abroad and are utilising the skills gained in their respective
PARC also offers training opportunities to experts from
foreign countries. International Centre for Agricultural
Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is one of the core
organisations in the CGIAR System. Based in Syria, ICARDA
operates several regional and country offices for its
extensive research in arid zones.
Presently ICARDA is engaged in Barani Area Development Project
in the Punjab province. An - agreement regarding establishment
of ICARDA Country Office is being finalised and it is expected
that it willprovide vigour to the essentially needed research
in the extensive arid areas of Pakistan. Besides, it is likely
to result in increased funding from bilateral and multilateral
donors in addition to access to germplasm from other sources.
Asian Development Bank is presently funding Agriculture Sector
Programme and Agribusiness Development Project for small
farmers and institutional development. It is also supporting a
Project Preparatory Technical .Assistance study for
Agribusiness Development Project.
The report by the 'international consultants is expected to be
finalised shortly which will be followed by the Agribusiness
Development Project expected to be launched in the next fiscal
During the PPTA, the participation of all stake holders have
ensured and a number of workshops and meetings have been held
all over Pakistan.
Amongst the institutional development strategies, agri
business development co-ordination, improved public/ private
sector partnerships, agribusiness policy formulation,
horticulture policy formulation, agribusiness capacity
building and private sector led research and extension are
The project aims at development of cold storage and cool chain
distribution, market intelligence and market information,
grading and quality standards, market infrastructure and
market facilities, and local processing industry. Amongst the
horticulture development efforts, the project aims at
vegetable seed production and certification, fruit tree
nursery regulation, training of farmers, high quality producer
group formation, seasonal credit to vegetables farmers,
organisation of flower marketing and immediate post harvest
facilities, flower bulb production, and onion storage
Under the project livestock and dairy development is aimed
through fattening of animals and improvement of
slaughterhouses, propagation of Nari-Master Beef Cattle in
Balochistan, livestock training and capacity building,
formation of dairy farmers associations, establishment of milk
chilling and collection centers, control of adulteration in
dairy sector, technical training in dairy sector, and
manufacturing of value added dairy products.
Pakistan has an active participation in over 30 international
forums. A large number of experts have received training under
programmes arranged by these organisations/ associations.
Besides, 'there are several projects under the ambit of these
Pakistan's agricultural exports are highly concentrated in few
items/ groups namely cotton and products, leather and leather
goods, and rice.
These three categories of exports account for 71.1% of total
exports in the FY 2002-03. Among these cotton group alone
contributed 59.4% followed by leather (6.8%), rice (4.9%).
Exports in the livestock sector account for 11.4 % of total
export earnings. Share of fisheries in the GDP, though very
little, contributes substantially to the overall export
Exports from Pakistan were mainly directed to USA, Germany,
Japan, UK, Hong King, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan's agriculture related imports are palm oil, soybean
oil, pulses, tea, agricultural machinery, and fertilisers. To
build buffer wheat stocks, Pakistan intends to import 1
million tons of wheat as a surplus stock to meet possible
shortage during the next season.
A quick survey of Pakistani agricultural exports shows that
they mainly comprise raw materials for food items.
Pakistan could substantially boost its exports earnings by
investment in production of value added food products.
Pakistan can also benefit from diversification of its
agricultural products in the light of requirements of its
Already, Pakistan has embarked on experimentation in the field
of tea cultivation, olive production and increased oilseed
The exports can be increased subject to meeting quality and
standard related concerns of quarantine issues, food
standardisation and grading, quality control, cold chain, food
storage, food processing and preservation techniques, etc.
The MINFAL is floating a public-private based company/
corporation to ensure good marketing practices development and
The corporation will work in tandem with the EPB and would be
known as Agricultural Production, Development and Marketing
Corporation. The Corporation will be managed by the experts
mainly drawn from the private sector.