THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Input Use and Productivity across Farm Sizes: A Comparison of the Two Punjabs
Agricultural production depends upon certain crucial inputs e.g., water, fertilizer etc. In the less developed regions of South Asia in general, and the indo-Pakistan sub-continent in particular, the use of these inputs depends not only upon the financial affordability but also upon the institutional accessibility of farmers to these inputs. Besides high economic costs, bureaucratic controls and corruption regarding the distribution of inputs have created problems of limited accessibility, especially to the small farmers. In the absence of any credit, information and/or input distribution networks, the use of these inputs, and related productivity gains, become confined to that class of farmers which not only has better access to these inputs but is capable of using them in the best possible way e.g. use of water and fertilizer in the appropriate amount and at the appropriate time. This paper attempts to study how input use and input productivity vary across farm sizes, with some reference to the infrastructural and institutional factors, whose development play an important role in improving the distribution and productivity of inputs. For such an analysis, a comparison of the two Punjabs i.e. Pakistani and Indian Punjabs, presents an ideal framework, Separated by a national boundary since 1947, the two Punjabs enjoy a common history and culture, similar agricultural practices and agro-climatic conditions, Government policies in the two Punjabs, however, have not only differed between the two provinces at the same time, but also over time in the same province. It may be noted that due to certain policy measures, land distribution, tenancy conditions, promotion of agricultural co-operatives and provision of infrastructural features, such as roads and electricity, are relatively more improved in Indian than Pakistani Punjab.