By Asif Maqbool
Pakistan’s economy has been diversified over the years but
agriculture still is the largest sector of the economy. With
its present 22 per cent share in the GDP, it accounts for 44.8
per cent of the total employed labour force. It serves as the
base sector for the country’s major industries like textile and
sugar and bulk of the exports.
Agriculture also contributes to growth by providing raw
materials, as well as being a market for industrial products.
What happens, therefore, to agriculture is bound to have a
substantial impact on the overall growth GDP.
Pakistan has basic ingredients such as fertile land, irrigation
water, hard working farmers and certified seeds. The need of
the hour is to utilise these which can be possible through
proper policy- making.
Good management suffers due to the shortage of technical
expertise which mostly leads to the failure of our food policy.
Previous experience shows that the majority of farmers failed
in getting minimum ceiling price of wheat and this created a
big gap between the demand and supply thus putting the country
in the list of food deficient. Farmers have not proper storage,
packing and distribution facilities.
Agriculture is facing problems like low productivity, unfit
irrigation water, adulterated chemicals, non-availability of
modern technology etc. Here the extension workers can play an
active role if they carry out the following functions and
* Convince the farmers to implement latest technology.
* Provide necessary information to farming community.
* Exchange and discuss problems and suggesting remedial
Pakistan is a developing country and our farmers are yet to
comprehend the advancements taking place around the world as
they are illiterate. The extension worker should promote
agriculture and its allied industry in line with the WTO rules
Human resource development is the main tool for enhancing
agricultural productivity. It will not only increase the
resource base productivity but can also play a vital role in
reducing the pre and post-harvest losses, judicious use of
irrigation water, balanced fertilizers, and recommended doses
of pesticides and insecticides. It will reduce per unit cost of
output, vital for competing with other developed nations.
For creating awareness about the WTO agenda among farming
community we need objective-oriented policies. They should know
about different agreements related to agriculture and their
responsibilities and how the new world trade order will affect
their profitability and how to it can enhance the same. The
role of extension workers need to be reorganized. The
government should provide them with the facilities for
performing their duties and allocate to them specific
Suggestions: The following suggestions are necessary for the
betterment of the present conditions of our traditional farmers
through the efforts of extension workers:
* The role of institutions is very crucial in this case. The
government should begin training programmes for extension
* The government should monitor extension workers performing
* Facilities such as motorcycle, fuel and other requirements
should be provided to them for visiting every farmer.
* Farmers should be persuaded to adopt the latest techniques.
Extension workers should motivate them by estimating and
presenting the profitability of new techniques.
* The ignorant farmers should be informed by the extension
worker about the use of ISO-certified products and the rules
and regulations of the WTO.