Introduction: Agriculture has historically been the backbone of Pakistan's economy, but in recent years, the sector has been experiencing a troubling decline with far-reaching consequences. This blog aims to shed light on the adverse effects of this downward trend and the potential crisis it poses, backed by statistical data and factual evidence.
- Water Scarcity: Pakistan faces a severe water scarcity crisis that directly impacts agricultural productivity. According to the Pakistan Water Council, the country's per capita water availability has declined from 5,260 cubic meters per year in 1951 to a mere 908 cubic meters in recent times . This alarming decrease has left farmers struggling to secure sufficient water for their crops, resulting in reduced yields and food insecurity.
- Outdated Farming Practices: The reliance on outdated farming techniques in Pakistan hinders agricultural growth. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 9% of farmers have access to modern machinery and equipment, while the majority still employ traditional practices . This lack of modernization significantly limits productivity and efficiency in the sector.
- Land Fragmentation and Urbanization: Rapid urbanization and land fragmentation are further exacerbating the decline of agriculture in Pakistan. According to the United Nations, the country's urban population is projected to reach 50% by 2030 . This urban expansion, coupled with inefficient land management policies, results in the conversion of valuable agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. As a consequence, the available arable land for cultivation is diminishing, impacting overall food production capacity.
- Economic Instability and Poverty: The decline of agriculture has grave implications for Pakistan's economy. The sector's contribution to the country's GDP has steadily declined from 25% in the 1990s to around 20% in recent years, as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan . This decline in agriculture's share of GDP places strain on the economy and has a direct impact on poverty levels, particularly in rural areas where agricultural livelihoods dominate.
Conclusion: The declining trend of agriculture in Pakistan demands urgent attention and strategic interventions. Government initiatives should prioritize addressing water scarcity through sustainable water management practices and investing in irrigation infrastructure. Promoting the adoption of modern farming techniques and providing farmers with access to improved seeds and machinery will enhance productivity. Furthermore, safeguarding agricultural land from encroachment and implementing efficient land use policies are vital to mitigate the adverse effects of urbanization. It is imperative that all stakeholders, including policymakers, farmers, and communities, collaborate to reverse the current trajectory.By reviving the agricultural sector through targeted reforms and investments, Pakistan can ensure food security, economic stability, and a prosperous future for its people.
 Pakistan Water Council. (n.d.). Water Scarcity Situation in Pakistan. Retrieved from http://pakistanwatercouncil.com/index.php/water-scarcity-situation-in-pakistan/
 Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. (n.d.). Agriculture Census 2010-11. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.gov.pk/content/agriculture-census-2010-11
 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2018). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision (ST/ESA/SER.A/420). Retrieved from https://population.un.org/wup/
 State Bank of Pakistan. (2020). Annual Report 2019-20. Retrieved from https://www.sbp.org.pk/reports/annual/arFY20/index.htm