Growth of Output and Productivity in Pakistan’s Agriculture: Trends, Sources, and Policy Implications

M.Ghaffar Chaudhry, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, Muhammad Ali Qasim


The paper aims to review the growth performance of Pakistan’s
agriculture from 1950 to 1995. The long-term growth rate of agriculture,
although respectable, has exhibited considerable yearly fluctuations
even between decades. The period of the fifties and early seventies
lacked any growth. Accelerating and high growth rates marked the decade
of the sixties but the performance has not been satisfactory since
1979-80 and average growth rates have barely exceeded the population
growth rate, with widespread implications for growth of national
economy, food security, and social welfare of the masses. Area, modern
inputs, and technology have been the major determinants of growth but
prices were equally important because of their incentive and
disincentive effects. The agriculture price policies adopted during the
1980s are known to have had a negative effect on the development and use
of technology in agriculture. In order to boost agricultural
productivity, a change in price policy is needed to ensure incentive
prices. This could be done by setting agricultural commodity prices at
par with corresponding import and export parity prices. A higher
investment in research and development can hardly be overemphasised.
There is an urgent need to remove the bottlenecks in agricultural input
markets since these markets represent the typical monopoly position. To
break up the monopoly of registered dealers and to promote competition,
free sales in the open market by interested parties and individuals may
be allowed.

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