Research vital for agri
is far behind in water storage capacity than India as its
capacity is just 8-10pc that is 25pc less than the water
storage capacity of India. “After the establishment of
Diamer-Basha, Akhori and Kalabagh dams, the water storage
capacity of Pakistan will increase to 23pc”, Rao Irshad Ali
Khan Chairman Irsa said.
He stated this on the occasion of Roundtable Discussion on
‘Agriculture and Water in Pakistan’. The Planning Commission
of Pakistan in collaboration with UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and the World Bank organized this
‘Roundtable Discussion’. Speakers at the seminar stressed
the need for adopting the innovative methodologies and
research to increase crop productivity.
It was discussed at the occasion that Pakistan has serious
water shortage threats and it has very low water storage
capacity of 150 cubic meters per person. The figures were
quoted from a World Bank report “Better Management of Indus
As per the report it was stated that large dams were the
need of the time, as they were not only supposed to serve
agricultural needs of the country but they also could add
significant energy in the national grid. Tarbela ‘s power
benefits account for 60% of the overall economic benefits
from the dam and the power benefits would be an even higher
proportion of total benefits from either Kalabagh or Basha.
Rachid Benmessaoud, Country Director for Pakistan, World
Bank said that the contribution of agriculture in GDP growth
is more than 24 percent. The need is to bring in large
investment programs for the development of agriculture
Dr Muhammad Jameel Khan, advisor on agriculture planning of
Planning Commission of Pakistan giving his presentation on
“Agriculture Growth and Productivity Enhancement” said that
it needs new development approach in Pakistan. The
government should encourage private sector as an engine of
agriculture growth and agriculture market should be open for
private sector, while the government should only monitor
proper functioning of the markets, he added.
Courtesy: The NATION
Comparing the labour productivity in the agriculture sector
of Asia, he said that in Pakistan it has registered a growth
rate of 0.2 percent from 2000-07, while during the same
period in India it was 2.2 percent, in China 6.4 percent and
in Bangladesh 1.4 percent.
The government has to develop viable plan for enhancing
agriculture labour productivity through training workshops,
community organization and Ngos, Dr Jameel argued.
He also said that the number of tractors being used in the
Pakistani agriculture sector, were very low and they were
just 0.9 horsepower per cropped hector against the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s recommendation
of 1.4 horsepower.
In Pakistan public sector investment in agriculture research
as percentage of the sector GDP is 0.3 percent, which is far
below as compared to 2.4 percent of the developed countries
and 0.53 percent for developing countries.
Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Dr
Muhammad Afzal speaking on the occasion said that
agriculture sector in Pakistan over the years has registered
phenomenal growth, but still it was not as per international