The economy of every state depends on three sectors i.e. agriculture, industry and commerce. These three are interrelated; the progress or retrogress of one sector effects the other two. Pakistan is an agricultural state thus agriculture is important for both the other sectors as well. Importance of this sector is manifold as it provides food, raw material for industry and is the base for all our exports.

Though the agricultural sector is facing problems, a major chunk of money comes from this sector. Some of the causes of the issues are that there is no mechanism to remove soil erosion and even after harvesting, nothing is done to improve or restore soil energy. Fertility of soil is decreasing and so our average yield is lower than other countries.

Secondly, water wastage is very high; the archaic method of flood irrigation is still in practice which wastes almost 50 to 60 percent of the water. A new irrigation system called ‘Drip Irrigation’ has been introduced in many countries, this not only saves water but also gives proper quantity of water according to the need.

The old methods of cultivation and harvesting still persist in Pakistan, resulting in low yield while Nepal, India and Bangladesh are using modern scientific methods and show higher yield. Our small farm holders are increasing, as the land gets divided through successive generations, so there are large numbers of farmers who owe a few acres of land. These farmers do not get any help from the state or the banks to make them improve their holdings or production.

Water logging and salinity is increasing and no measures have been taken to curb it. As the storage capacity of the dams is decreasing, the water availability per acre is also decreasing. Therefore, the farmers have been installing more and more tube wells to irrigate, increasing salinity. There are no literacy or awareness programs for the farmers in our country. A good TV or radio show, in their native dialects would help farmers gain knowledge on how to increase their yield.

AMBER SHEHZADI,

Lahore, June 19.