Agriculture grows by 1.2pc, major crops` output drops !


2 May 2011
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KARACHI: Agriculture has recorded a modest growth of 1.2 percent, but production of four major crops has declined by four percent, Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11 said.

Major crops remained the victim of natural calamities during the last few years as three out of last four years witnessed negative growth in the major crops sector, said the survey, which was revealed on Thursday afternoon.

Agriculture had grown by 0.6 percent in 2009-10.

The unprecedented floods in July 2010 destroyed rice and cotton crops, said the survey. As reported by SUPARCO, an area of 2.364 million hectares under Kharif Crops 2010 was damaged.

“Major crops, accounting for 31.1 percent of agricultural value added, registered a negative growth of four percent for second year in a row mainly because of decrease in production of rice and cotton by 29.9 and 11.3 percent, respectively.”

The survey said minor crops accounting for 10.9 percent of overall agriculture value addition, grew by 4.8 percent as against negative growth of last two years.

The bumper wheat crop, however, provided strength to the agriculture production.

Given the enormous price inducement, the agriculture sector is likely to remain at the forefront in the economic growth in the next fiscal year, the survey claimed.

The livestock sector having 55.1 percent stake in the agriculture sector was also impacted by the massive floods. Its growth slowed to 3.7 percent in 2010-11 from 4.3 percent last year.

Fisheries sector grew by 1.9 percent as against last year’s growth of 1.4 percent.

Forestry experienced a negative growth of 0.4 percent this year as compared to last year’s positive growth of 2.2 percent.

Major crops such as wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane account for 90 percent of the value added in the major crops. The value added in major crops accounts for 31 percent of the value added in the agriculture. Thus, four major crops (wheat, rice, cotton, and sugarcane) on average, contribute 28 percent to the value added in overall agriculture and 5.9 percent to GDP, the survey said.

Livestock contributes 55.1 percent to agricultural value added, much more than the combined contribution of major and minor crops (41.9 percent).

As a result of surge in prices of major crops, an additional amount of Rs342 billion was transferred to the rural areas in 2010-11 alone.

Contrary to this, only Rs329 billion was transferred to the rural areas on account of higher prices of major crops during the eight years (2001-2008).

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