Friday, August 26, 2011

The crises of agriculture in Pakistan

This short article is focus on the burning issues of agriculture. Pakistan is the land of very diverse ecosystem and rich with crops, livestock and flora/fauna diversities. Such diversity is the guarantee of safe and sustainable food production. Unfortunately, because of many faulty decisions, the condition of agriculture is not as good. It is said that agriculture in Pakistan is in trouble and crisis. It is a fact that 70% of the rural population is connected to the agriculture, then it means that Pakistan is in crisis. The most crucial phenomenon in agriculture crisis is the followings.
·       The farmers are increasingly impoverished with a steady decline in their real income and not many options are available for rural non-farming employment and income generation.
·       There is an alarming decline in the resources base of agriculture with the most important factors ones-degradation of soil and decline in soil fertility, decline in quality and quantity of water resources available for agriculture, increased pressure and demand on land from non-agricultural activities, erosion of biodiversity in terms of both species and verities of cultivated crops, as well as livestock population to fertile lands and help in weeds control
·       With agriculture proving to be very poor as a source of livelihood, there is increased migration to the cities and a great scarcity of labor in rural areas for agricultural activities
·       While green revolution led to an immediate increase in production and productivity agriculture, it was achieved at a heavy cost to the environment and was not a sustainable long term strategy. Green revolution was a strategy of western countries to minimize the expansion of communism but not a real agricultural development

The current policy on agriculture which is a continuation of the green revolution strategy emphasized, a method that is heavily dependent on external inputs ranging from seed and including fertilizers, pesticides, and most importantly knowledge of cultivation practices.
This has led to an impasse with declining yields and soil fertility and an increasing realization about the limitation of chemical farming. We have suggested here an alternative approach that builds on indigenous knowledge, wisdom, and resources. We have outlined and shown that there is tremendous knowledge at the classical and folk level. Equally importantly, we are endowed with a tremendous resource base consisting of land, water, sunshine and biodiversity. This can provides a strong and unique starting point for a alternative strategy for the development of Pakistani agriculture.
Conclusion: There is need of change in policies related to agriculture in the country. The policies on agriculture can be fruitful if the stake holders like farmers and the consumers are taken on board while formulating policies. The up to bottom policies are failure stories and there is need of bottom to up approach. Indigenous knowledge conservation and sue in successful agricultural policies is the utmost need of time. Small-scale farmers are playing crucial role in food production in a sustainable way. Their production system is very friendly to agroecosystems and helps in conservation of biodiversity. The affairs relate to small-scale farmers are very important to address to sustain the healthy food items for ever increasing population in the country.

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