Agriculture Sector Employment and the Need for Off-FarmEmployment in the North-West Frontier Province

Publication Year : 1992

The North-West Frontier Province is essentially a mountainousregion intermixed with fertile valleys of agricultural lands. Thediversity of the region is well reflected through the agro-ecologicalregions map of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Councile where 6 outof the 10 regions indentified are .found in the NWFP. The totalpopulation of the NWFP stood at 11.1 million persons in 1981 with anannual growth rate higher than the national average (3.32 percent asagainst 3.1 percent for Pakistan). Moreover, the literacy rate isabysmally low, standing as it d~es at about 16.7 percent (whichaccording to some is an optimistic estimate). The inflow of over 3.5million Afghan refugees and the location of more than three-fourths ofthis number in the NWFP has compounded the problems with far reachingimplications for the economy, environment and the level of off-farmemployment. The influx of these refugees with their herds and beasts ofburden have tended to encroach on forest lands and led to over-grazingof pastures resulting in environmental degradation. The rapidlymUltiplying demand for food has led to crops being grown on steep andunstable slopes.

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