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October 22, 2019

Agriculture and rural development

Newspost

 
October 22, 2019

Pakistan is an agricultural country. The agriculture sector accounts for 22 percent of GDP, employs 42 percent of workforce, and 66 percent of the rural population earn their livelihood from the sector. Around 60 percent direct or indirect contribution in exports comes from the sector. However, the country remains a net importer of agricultural products. This is reflective of the slow growth in productivity of the agriculture sector.

Nothing substantial has been done in the rural sector which is why the poverty rate is still high. Government agencies and private firms have introduced hybrid seeds which — coupled with fake pesticides, insecticides, weedicides and fertilizers — have destroyed the soil. Instead of making farmers more self-sufficient, they have become poorer. Above all, erratic government policies have not only complicated matters, but also deepened the problems of the rural areas. In view of the above, efforts should not be focused on agriculture alone. A link needs to be made between production and value-added activities characterizing the sector.

Khan Faraz

Peshawar

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