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November 14, 2019

Global warming and agriculture

Newspost

 
November 14, 2019

Pakistan is an agricultural country. Agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy. The agriculture sector accounts for 22 percent of GDP and employs 42 percent of the workforce, while 66 percent of the rural population earn their livelihood from the sector. Around 60 percent of direct or indirect contribution in exports comes from the sector. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) says that the agriculture sector’s growth decelerated to 0.8 percent in FY2019, well below the target of 3.8 percent, hurting the economic growth that fell to 3.3 percent from 5.5 percent in the preceding fiscal year. Farmers faced liquidity constraints due to both escalated input prices and lower crop returns.

It merits a mention that the key issues hampering the development of agriculture in the country are lack of certified seeds, applying old methods of cultivation practices, absence of ecological-based cropping pattern, depletion of forests and missing modern post-harvest technologies in promoting agriculture and achieving higher yield. Also, the issue of unsuitable hybrid seeds needs to be addressed, urging resolving problems by sharing experiences with national and international experts and scientists. The use of unauthorised hybrid seeds that were made without taking account of the local environment and weather conditions, has resulted in low yields, creating panic among producers. In view of the above, researchers and agriculture scientists are requested to come up with new technologies and cope with the emerging challenges of water scarcity, climate change and food security in the country. This will help facilitate value-addition to export quality products for the economic development of the country and create job opportunities for farmers.

Khan Faraz

Peshawar

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