ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said ignoring agriculture sector is keeping millions poor and hitting growth rate. The agriculture sector is considered the backbone of the economy but it is not getting due attention since decades despite the fact that majority of the population depends on this sector, it said.
The bad cotton crop and reduction in the area under cultivation of wheat will reduce the growth rate while the country will have to spend billions to bridge the shortfall of 2.5 million bales, said Murtaza Mughal, president of PEW.
The farmers are ignoring latest methods and continue to increase the volume of inputs like fertilizer to boost production which is increasing the cost of doing business, he added.
Murtaza Mughal said that it is next to impossible to ensure national development while keeping agricultural development on the backburner, adding that the poor performance of agriculture sector will drag down the GDP.
He said that agriculture is no more the largest sector of the economy but it continues to provide jobs to the majority of the laborers therefore it merits attention.
Agriculture growth in the last eight years has remained at the average of 2.1 percent while it has dipped to 1.6 percent which proves apathy of the policymakers, he added.
He said that reduced production is contributing to poverty in the rural areas and widening the gulf between rich and poor which can be bridged through the intervention of the authorities.
Pakistan is a notable country in milk production; the number of cattle head is increasing but the productivity of milk, beef and mutton is stagnant since long.