Pakistan is an agro based economy; the prosperity of the nation is dependent on the agricultural produce. Therefore the role of the Pakistani farmer is very essential as Pakistan is known to be a land for farmers. These farmers live in villages, in fact more than 70 percent of our population lives in the rural areas and there lifestyles and way of life is all associated with the work they do which is most of the time farming. The main crops that are cultivated in Pakistan include sugar cane, rice, wheat, cotton and corn.
The role farmer in Pakistan is one that is respected as they are the ones who produce agricultural output for the entire nation, however their living standards and socio economic status has been deteriorating. This decrease in income could be accounted for by the decrease in prices of agricultural products and an inelastic price and income elasticity of demand. Hence the income of these farmers is insufficient to give them a suitable standard of living; most of them are hardly able to provide basic necessities to their family.
Farmers in Pakistan are busy mostly all year round sowing seed and reaping crops, however recently many farmers have had to look for alternate ways to earn incomes as rain fed floods have destroyed many crops and livestock on which their income is dependent. The floods are not the only problems faced by Pakistani farmers; there is also the issue of their lack of technical knowledge. The low literacy rates in the rural areas are the dominant factor behind the farmers' inability to adapt modern scientific methods of agriculture and remain ignorant to good means of protecting and increasing their yield.
Hence their production is quite low. The second major issue they face involve their lack of access to capital and debt burdens which prohibit them to purchase modern machinery, chemical manures, improved type of seeds. Thus they cannot meet international standards of agricultural products and therefore are less competitive in local and international markets. Many farmers in Pakistan are not welcoming new techniques and still stuck on old farming methods of their forefathers, mostly they are compelled to do so because of small holdings of land and poverty. This is the main reason their standard is lower than that of the cultivators in developed regions. Other issues these farmers face include water logging, Salinity of soil, uneconomical land holding size, scarcity of water for irrigation, land tenure system, soil erosion, lack of organized marketing and lastly pests and crop diseases.
All of these problems faced by farmers reduce the yield per acre and make farming a difficult way to earn a suitable livelihood. Pakistan's Agricultural sector is one of its largest industrial sectors however it needs extensive restoration and development efforts to make it into a profitable one, as agriculture has great potential to contribute even more to the GDP than it already does.
Farmers in Pakistan should be aided by government policies and efforts to make farming an occupation which is desired and to encourage farmers to be dedicated to their work. This includes reclaiming land which has been claimed useless due to salinity by providing proper irrigation facilities, credit facilities should also be given to small scale farmers so they can adapt modern techniques and increase yield and income, the use of fertilizers, better quality seeds and plant production should be encouraged. If the government takes these steps it could potentially improve the living standards of farmers, inhabitants of rural areas (70 percent of the population) and the contribution of the agricultural sector in the growth of the economy.
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