THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Agricultural Policy Issues in Pakistan
Agriculture, in many ways, remains the most dominant activity in Pakistan. It provides a way of life to almost three-quarters of the country’s population: over 55 percent of the labour force works directly in agriculture and about 30 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and over 35 percent of the export earnings were contributed by agriculture in 1984. That three-quarters of the population engaged in agriculture cannot produce adequate supply of food and fibre at reasonable prices for the one quarter working in other sectors indicates a low level of productivity in crop and livestock production. Agricultural growth in the past 35 years or so has been uneven in terms of both rates and commodity balances. Also, the benefits from growth have varied significantly across regions and between farm groups. Markets and public policy have not always provided the right economic incentives and environment for sustained and equitable growth.