The agriculture sector is expected to grow by 1.2 per cent in the current fiscal year, way below the target of 3.8 per cent, because of last year’s floods.
According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11 major crops, accounting for 31 per cent of agricultural value addition, registered a negative growth of four per cent for the second year in a row mainly because of decrease in production of rice and cotton by 29.9 per cent and 11.3 per cent, respectively.
The floods also damaged these two major crops. As reported by Suparco, an area of 2.36 million hectares was damaged. Minor crops, accounting for 10.9 per cent of agricultural value addition, grew by 4.8 per cent against negative growth in the previous two years.
The livestock sector, having a 55.1 per cent stake in the agricultural sector, was also impacted by the floods, growing 3.7 per cent in 2010-11 against 4.3 per cent last year. The fisheries sector experienced a negative growth of 0.4 per cent compared to last year’s positive growth of 2.2 per cent.
Cotton production is estimated at 11.5 million bales this year, down 11.3 per cent over previous year’s production of 12.9 million bales and 17.9 per cent less than the target of 14 million bales.
Sugarcane production for the year is estimated at 55.3 million tons against output of 49.3 million tons last year, registering an increase of 12 per cent. Main factors that contributed to the increase were lucrative market prices and timely availability of inputs.
A bumper crop of 24.2 million tons is expected, which is 3.9 per cent more than the previous year’s crop. Prospects for the harvest improved with healthy fertiliser off-take and reasonable rainfall during the pre-harvest period.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2011.
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