Economics of Barani (Rainfed) Farming and Farm Household Production Behaviour in Pakistan

Amir Mahmood

Abstract


Agriculture research and development efforts in Pakistan have
traditionally been focused on raising the farm productivity of irrigated
areas. Among other factors, the underlying causes for this irrigated
bias could be attributed to: the importance given to the irrigated areas
in the overall planning framework; the dominance of the irrigated farm
lobby at all levels of research, politics, and government; the relative
progressiveness of irrigated farmers in terms of adoption of new
technologies; and the presence of risk-reducing natural conditions
prevailing on irrigated farms, e.g., certainty of subsidised water
supply when it is most needed. Further, like other parts of Asia, the
Green Revolution has helped the irrigated farmers in Pakistan to raise
the productivity of their major crops, such as wheat, cotton, and rice.
On the other hand, the rainfed I areas of Pakistan have drawn little
benefit from the Green Revolution. The average yields achieved on the
rainfed areas remain significantly lower than the yields derived by the
traditional irrigated farmers. The rainfed farmers are also subject to
subsistence farming conditions with per capita incomes well below the
national average.2 Given the size of the area under rainfed conditions
and the problems faced by the rainfed farmers, there have been attempts
by the government, international donor agencies, and nongovernment
organisations to come up with strategies to raise the productivity as
well as income of the rainfed farmers. Such efforts, however, must take
into account the production behaviour of the farm-households under
rainfed conditions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v34i4IIIpp.901-912

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