Agriculture is the process of cultivation of the soil and the land for economic and production purposes. Pakistan is an agriculture based country meaning that Pakistan’s economy heavily depends on the agriculture yields. About 48% of the country’s labour force is engaged in the agriculture sector and about 70% is related to it both directly and indirectly. It is considered to be the main source of food for the citizens of this country. The agriculture sector also provides a large amount of raw material to the industrial sector.
The sector contributes about 25% towards GDP which is the highest of any other economic sector. The points stated below explain in detail the role of agriculture in the economic development of Pakistan
Major source of employment
The agriculture industry provides employment to a large portion of the labour force of the country. More than 45% of the labour force is thought to be directly associated with this industry while more than 66.7% of the rural population is dependent on agriculture. Agriculture has played an important role in the reduction of unemployment and disguised employment.
Increasing the GDP of the economy
Agriculture abundantly contributes to the GDP of Pakistan. A country prospers and develops economically when its GDP increases. At the time of independence agriculture was the largest contributor to the GDP of Pakistan but as time passed the service industry took over. Now agriculture has the third largest contribution in the GDP of the country. Livestock and fisheries is a huge part of this sector and it not only provides employment to the people of Pakistan but also is exported to several countries. Livestock accounts for 40% of this economic sector and 9% of the GDP. Pakistan is considered to be at the fifth position in the Muslim world and ranked at the twelfth position World Wide for farm output. It is the world’s fifth largest milk producer. All this implies that agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Pakistan.
Foreign exchange earner
The agriculture sector the major source of foreign exchange earning in this country. Products such as cotton, rice and wheat are exported to various countries. It brings about 65% of the total earnings.
Reduction in poverty:
The agriculture sector has a huge role in the development of the rural areas. The productivity helps to reduce poverty and also stimulates non-farming employment too. The people are able to get the basic necessities of life such as a good sanitary system, clean water, electricity, provision of health and educational facilities etc. About 21% of the population of Pakistan is below the poverty line.
The population of Pakistan is increasing rapidly. According to the UNDP population growth report, the population growth rate of Pakistan is 2% per year. So in order to protect the country from dying of starvation, the food production has also increased manifold. In this case the agriculture sector is the only economic sector that is meeting the demand of the people. And in comparison the agriculture sector has also reduced the imports from other economies. So it can be said that agriculture is playing a vital role in sustaining the economy of Pakistan by providing food for the country’s citizens.
Increasing Tax revenue for the government:
The more money the government can make using tax schemes the more money it will have, to spend on the development of Pakistan. As agriculture contributes a lot to the per capita income so the government tax revenues increase as their tax revenues are directly proportional to the increase in the GDP. In this way agriculture helps in generating more tax revenue for the government.