The Impact of Climate Change on Major Agricultural Crops: Evidence from Punjab, Pakistan

It is necessary for a country to make its agriculture sector efficient to enhance food security, quality of life and to promote rapid economic growth. The evidence from least developed countries (LDCs) indicates that agriculture sector accounts for a large share in their gross domestic product (GDP). Thus the development of the economy cannot be achieved without improving the agriculture sector. According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan (2011-12) its main natural resource is arable land and agriculture sector’s contribution to the GDP is 21 percent. The agricultural sector absorbs 45 percent of labour force and its share in exports is 18 percent. Given the role of agricultural sector in economic growth and its sensitivity to change in temperature and precipitation it is important to study the impact of climate change on major crops in Pakistan. There are two crops seasons in Pakistan namely, Rabi and Kharif. Rabi crops are grown normally in the months of November to April and Kharif crops are grown from May to October. These two seasons make Pakistan an agricultural economy and its performance depends on the climate during the whole year. Climate change generally affects agriculture through changes in temperature, precipitation.