National Agricultural Policy: Pakistan is an agricultural country as according recent estimate nearly two fifth (60.2%) of the country’s total population is residing in rural areas.
These people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture as their major source of income. While if we look at the statistics in 2005, comparatively large number (64.4%) of people were living in rural areas.
This shows a very alarming situation and tries to divert the attention of all the stakeholders towards this issue. If this unchecked decline in rural population continued for longer period and people will continue to move to urban areas, a time will definitely come when we will have shortage of producers (farmers).
Total land of the country is fixed while country’s population is continuously increasing. During the last few decades no significant effort has been made to make uncultivatable land an arable land to increase arable land area and produce more.
No significant decline in uncultivatable land has occurred. Pakistan stays low in global production of major food crops whereas Pakistan stays even low among countries getting highest yield per hectare.
Not even this, there are many other looming threats to our already down agriculture. Due to continuous change in climate, cropping systems are being disturbed. Our agriculture is becoming more and more chemical-intensive.
Resultantly, another issue of food safety is rising and becoming more dangerous as it is the major cause of health hazards among humans. Lavish use of limited natural resources like water, soil texture, fuel etc. by the un-aware farmers is a hard ask for related departments.
But no any type of campaign has been started by them to make farmers aware of these natural irreversible resources and convince them to adopt precision agricultural practices.
If it continued for longer period, it will also create many problems associated with agricultural production. Resultantly natural resources will finish and we will not have any natural input resources left.
All these issues demand for a comprehensive national agricultural policy. Though there are efforts going on to develop agricultural policy at provincial level but the threats common to all the provinces must be addressed at national level.
Provinces must develop their area specific agricultural policy on technical grounds focusing on enhancing researches to improve agricultural productivity, yield per hectare, diseases management etc. but the general and common threats must be addressed at national level.
In this way provinces will not need to focus on multi sectors if a common national agricultural policy is developed at national level.