Rethinking Agricultural Priorities in Pakistan

Fixed cropping patterns, reliance on few major crops, narrow genetic pools, poor seed quality and inefficient water management practices are often cited as major problems which continue to dampen agricultural productivity in Pakistan today.

Large and mid-level farmers in the country continue engaging in wasteful practices such as flood irrigation to grow crops like rice, and they have recklessly drained the underground aquifers using pumps to water their crops.

Besides ensuring that landless agricultural workers are paid fairer wages, there is need to craft subsidy schemes and other incentives which focus on making smaller farmers actively involved in making agriculture more productive, resilient and sustainable. To better contend with the varied challenges facing our agricultural sector, it is necessary to rethink the top-down process of agricultural development which continues to bypass poor and landless farmers.

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