Agricultural development in Pakistan is just one of the many facets of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Muhammad Bilal Farooq notes that the corridor is promoting corporate farming and boosting the agricultural productivity of Pakistan. CPEC’s infrastructure projects can reduce the transportation time and cost of agricultural produce. On top of dedicating 4 special economic zones (SEZs) to food processing, China and Pakistan, under CPEC, are also cooperating in the research and development of new varieties of crops.
The article is about the land reforms in Pakistan, the most significant yet neglected priority. Muhammad Asad details how the unaccomplished reforms hinder the progress of the non-ruling class and worsen their socio-economic conditions.
Pakistan, with its thousands of acres of cultivable land, has set on a path to fully avail its olive production potential. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project has played a crucial role in Pakistan’s olive revolution, aiding the state in becoming a member of the International Olive Council (IOC). Though its olive production is low at the moment, Pakistan aims to cultivate 16,000 tons of olives by 2027.
The author, Muhammad Bilal Farooq, delves into the world of agricultural developments — or what we would technically refer to as precision agriculture. The fourth agricultural revolution encompasses the use of GPS, GIS, remote sensing, and drones, among others. The author also charts the progress made and the use of these digital tools in Pakistan.
The agriculture sector of Pakistan accounts for 24% of the GDP and is responsible for the livelihoods of 65-70% of the state’s population. Yet, due to the challenges presented by fast-paced industrialization, climate change, and outdated farming and irrigation practices, this sector is being threatened. The author, Ayesha Irum, notes that by adopting precision agriculture, Pakistani farmers can thoroughly monitor, access, and analyze the agricultural land. Precision agriculture will not only benefit the farmers due to its cost-effectiveness but will also reduce water and crop losses. The author asserts that if implemented properly, it can increase the yield of Pakistan’s crops.
Pakistan, an agricultural state with several types of soil, ecological zones, and climatic conditions, has enormous potential for olive cultivation. Pakistan’s cultivable land for olives is far more than that of Spain’s, yet, it has failed to fully utilize the available resources. The author, Zuha Tiwana, notes that since the 1950s, the state has launched several projects – some with the collaboration of the Italian government – to enhance Pakistan’s olive cultivation and the manufacturing of its olive products. She argues that if Pakistan wants to enter the neighboring market for these commodities, China is its most feasible option.
Pakistan’s agricultural sector possesses the ability to drive the state’s economy. Despite that, the sector only contributes 24% to the GDP of Pakistan and its true potential remains untapped. The author notes that the policies of the previous governments and the mismanagement of the resources have led to sluggish agricultural growth, post-harvest losses, and caused Pakistan to lag in the seed and livestock sectors. The author argues that while Pakistan has the perfect environment for growing high-value crops, the current challenges to the agricultural sector have held back the state.
The under-appreciated agriculture sector is the driving force behind Pakistan’s economy. Its contribution to the GDP of the country remains around 20%. The author, Ms. Afifa Iqbal, outlines several policy reforms that have been formulated by the government, and then proceeds to discuss solutions to the barriers that impede the growth of the sector.
Like all economies, Pakistan’s too has fallen ill to the coronavirus pandemic. The article specifically focuses on the impact the virus has had on Pakistan’s tourism sector, food & agriculture, SMEs, & also the manufacturing & mining sector.