Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Productivity Constraints of Cholistani Farmers

This paper examines the factors behind low crop yield in Cholistan. Both the quantitative and qualitative analysis show how the low levels of agricultural productivity in this area may be linked to material and climatic factors. The quantitative analysis is mainly focused on physical factors. The qualitative analysis, however, emphasises that relative inefficiency of agricultural activity in Cholistan reflects the influence of physical, economic, social and, most importantly, climatic factors. The quantitative findings provide valuable insight into various ‘sources of productivity’ in terms of acreage effect, capital input effect and irrigation water availability effect. The size of the positive and significant coefficients on these variables suggest the extent to which one or the other variable effect is prominent in improving the crop yield. The qualitative analysis examines multiple interrelated factors which can be blamed on for relative inefficiency of Cholistani farmers. The hot climate of the area turns out to be the most critical variable in this analysis. Many specific technological drought-mitigating measures are proposed. However, for consistent policy formulation, a thorough study and quantitative evaluation of the potential and practicality of these measures in Cholistan is suggested.

Naheed Zia Khan, John R. Anania, Karamat Ali