About 70 percent of Pakistan’s population is living in rural areas and is directly involved in agricultural activities. The major crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice, maize, cotton and sugar cane. These major crops contributed 7.7 percent last year against the set target of 4.5 percent. Though the agricultural sector is facing problems in Pakistan yet the major chunk of money comes from this sector. 

No mechanism has been adopted to eradicate the issue of soil erosion and even after harvesting, nothing is done to improve or restore the soil energy. Therefore, the fertility of soil is decreasing day by day. Water wastage is also very high in our country. The archaic method of flood irrigation is still in practice, which wastes almost 50 to 60 percent of water. A new irrigation system called drip irrigation system has been introduced in many parts of the world. This not only saves water but also gives proper quantity of water according to the needs of plants. Thirdly, owing to old methods of cultivation and harvesting, Pakistan has low per acre yield, whereas Nepal, India and Bangladesh are using modern scientific methods to increase their yield. Fourthly, the small farmers are increasing in our country as the lands are dividing generation by generation. So, there are large number of farmers who own only 4 acres of land. These small farmers do not get credit facilities to purchase seeds, pesticides, fertilisers etc. Additionally, a large area of land is owned by feudal and the farmers who work on their lands, are just tenants. Fifthly, water logging and salinity is increasing day by day. No effective measures have been taken to curb it. As the storage capacity of the dams is decreasing so the water availability per acre is also decreasing. 

More dams should be constructed on Indus, Jehlum and Chenab rivers. This will enhance the storage capacity of water and reduce the per acre cost of all the crops. This step will also reduce the salinity chances of the lands as less tube well water will be flooded to the lands which cause salinity. 

BISMA ABDUL LATIF, 

Karachi, November 3.