Agricultural Productivity Growth Differential in Punjab, Pakistan: A District-level Analysis
Author: Munir Ahmad

The results of this paper show that the crop output increased at the rate of 2.6 percent per annum, dominated by the share of TFP growth. Wide variation exists among cropping systems as well as within the system both in TFP growth and output growth. The mungbean zone emerged as a leader in TFP growth with 3.6 percent per annum, followed by barani (3.2 percent), cotton (1.9 percent), mixed (1.1 percent), and rice (1.0 percent) zones. Rice, mixed, and cotton zones show a negative trend in efficiency, and the respective causes appear to be the dominant factor of land degradation sourced by the existence of nutrient-exhaustive cropping pattern, increasing problem of waterlogging and salinity, and the use of brackish underground water, plus the prevalence of curl leaf virus disease in the cotton zone during the 1990s. The other reasons could be the low literacy rate among the farmers in most of the districts of the latter two cropping systems. Besides, the majority of them are also characterised as having very low status in development ranking. The data also show that the area under rice and sugarcane, a highly water-intensive crop, had increased in most of the districts of mixed and cotton zones, during the 1990s instrumented by high instability in cotton output growth as compared to rice and sugarcane. The sources of instability include high volatility in prices, vulnerability of the crop to disease and insect attack, consistently rising production cost, incapacity of the farming communities to deal with the dynamism of technology in cotton production, and increasing waterlogging and salinity problem.