ISLAMABAD: The agriculture sector has almost achieve growth target of 2.8 percent for the fiscal year 2020/2021, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan released on Thursday.
The agriculture sector’s performance during 2020-21 broadly stands encouraging as it grows by 2.77 percent against the target of 2.8 percent. The growth of important crops (wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and cotton) during the year is 4.65 percent. The production of major Kharif crops 2020, such as sugarcane, maize and rice indicated considerable improvement compared to last year and surpassed the production targets. The production of sugarcane increased by 22.0 percent to 81.009 million tonnes from 66.380 million tonnes, rice by 13.6 percent to 8.419 million tonnes from 7.414 million tonnes and maize by 7.4 percent to 8.465 million tonnes from 7.883 million tonnes. However, the cotton crop suffered mainly due to decline in area sown, heavy monsoon rains and pest attacks. The cotton production reduced by 22.8 percent to 7.064 million bales from 9.148 million bales last year.
Wheat is the most important crop of “Rabi”, which showed growth of 8.1 percent and reached record high production level of 27.293 million tonnes compared to 25.248 million tonnes last year. For the Rabi crops 2020-21, the government provided a comprehensive “Rabi Package” comprising of subsidies on fertilizer, fungicides and weedicides, together with an increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat to Rs 1,800 per 40 Kg.
Other crops having a share of 11.69 percent in agriculture value addition and 2.24 percent in GDP, showed growth of 1.41 percent because of increase in production of fodder, vegetables and fruits. Cotton ginning declined by 15.58 percent due to fall in the production of cotton crop. The overall crops sector, having a share of 35.81 percent in agriculture value addition and 6.87 percent in GDP, witnessed a growth of 2.47 percent.
Water availability during Kharif 2020 remained at 65.1 million acre feet (MAF) showing a slight decrease of 0.2 percent compared to 65.2 MAF of Kharif 2019. Rabi season 2020-21 received 31.2 MAF, showing an increase of 6.9 percent over Rabi 2019-20.
Domestic production of fertilizer during FY2021 (July-March) increased by 5.9 percent over the same period of the previous year mainly due to increase in supply of additional gas. There was an upsurge in total off-take of fertilizer nutrients by 15.2 percent largely due to upward revision in support price of wheat and decrease in the price of urea by 12 percent.
During FY2021 (July-March), total tractor production was 36,653 compared to 23,266 produced last year, an increase of 57.5 percent. The production increase was largely due to an improved liquidity position of farmers. The agriculture lending institutions have disbursed Rs 953.7 billion during July-March, FY2021 which is 63.6 percent of the overall annual target of Rs 1,500 billion and 4.6 percent higher than the disbursement of Rs 912.2 billion made during the same period last year.
Livestock having a share of 60.07 percent in agriculture and 11.53 percent in GDP, achieved a growth of 3.06 percent. The fishing sector, with a share of 2.01 percent in agriculture value addition and 0.39 percent in GDP, grew by 0.73 percent, while forestry sector having share of 2.10 percent in agriculture and 0.40 percent in GDP, grew by 1.42 percent.