Role of agriculture in the economic development of Pakistan

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

Pakistan’s agricultural sector plays a vital role in the country’s economic development by employing more than 40% of the workforce and contributing significantly to the GDP. USAID has been partnering with Pakistan to enhance agricultural productivity through the development of new crop varieties, improved management practices, and increased access to advanced technologies and irrigation water. As a result, the agricultural sector has witnessed significant growth, generating more employment opportunities, reducing poverty, and increasing food security.

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 but it also has some drawbacks like energy crisis. 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.

Food requirement:

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.


Pakistan is an agrarian economy, and the agriculture sector includes crops, livestock, fisheries, and forestry. Major crops grown in the country are wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, and maize. These crops not only meet the domestic demand for food but also contribute significantly to the export earnings of the country.


The livestock sector is an important sub-sector of agriculture and contributes significantly to the GDP. The sector provides a source of food, employment, and income to the rural population. Livestock products, such as milk, meat, and hides, contribute significantly to the national economy.

Government policies:

In recent years, the government of Pakistan has introduced various policies and initiatives to support the agriculture sector. These policies aim to increase agricultural productivity, promote modern farming techniques, and improve the overall infrastructure of the sector. The government has also introduced various subsidies and credit facilities to support farmers and improve their access to finance.


Despite its importance, the agriculture sector in Pakistan faces numerous challenges, such as inadequate irrigation systems, outdated farming techniques, lack of access to credit, and insufficient research and development. These challenges hinder the growth and development of the sector.

Export earnings:

The agriculture sector is one of the main sources of export earnings for Pakistan. The country is a major exporter of rice, cotton, and other crops. The sector also exports livestock products such as meat, milk, and hides. The export earnings from agriculture contribute significantly to the country’s foreign exchange reserves and help to maintain a stable balance of payments.

Employment opportunities:

The agriculture sector is the largest employer in Pakistan, providing employment to more than 40% of the country’s labor force. The sector provides employment opportunities to both skilled and unskilled workers, including farmers, agricultural laborers, and farm managers. The sector is a source of livelihood for the rural population, which comprises around 60% of the country’s total population.

Food security:

The agriculture sector is crucial for ensuring food security in Pakistan. The sector provides the country with the necessary food supplies to meet the needs of the growing population. The government has implemented various policies and initiatives to promote food security, such as the provision of subsidies to farmers and the development of high-yielding crop varieties.

Potential for growth:

The agriculture sector in Pakistan has significant potential for growth. The country has a large land area suitable for agriculture, and the sector can adopt modern farming techniques to increase agricultural productivity. The sector can also diversify into new areas such as horticulture, poultry farming, and aquaculture to generate additional income and employment opportunities.

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