Pakistan Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Agriculture and fishing

Agriculture provides almost half of Pakistan’s population. About a fifth of the land area is cultivated, yet Pakistan cannot produce enough food but is forced to import.

Pakistan is one of the driest countries in the world, creating great dependence on irrigation. Indus and its tributaries are based on the world’s largest continuous irrigation system. About 80 percent of agriculture is irrigated. Intensive irrigation in more than half the agricultural area has led to problems with both high salinity and neglect.

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The opportunities to harvest larger crops require better cultivation methods. Since the 1960s, agricultural production has increased thanks to better seeds, mechanization and more use of artificial fertilizers, but this costs a lot of money and has hardly benefited the poor small farmers. Most quickly, the economic and social gaps in the countryside have widened.

A few own a lot of land

In recent decades, the increase in agricultural production has also been steadily declining. While growth in the 1980s averaged 6.5 percent a year, in the 2000s and 2010s, it has dropped to around 3 percent. For Pakistan defense and foreign policy, please check recipesinthebox.

Agriculture is dominated by large or medium-sized holdings. The great landowners are similar to medieval feudal lords and have significant political influence. The land reforms that have been carried out have usually remained paper products because of the landowners’ strong resistance and the ability to manipulate the rules. Fewer than ten percent of them own about half of all arable land. Investigations by the World Bank, among others, show that the large landowners are less productive than the small farmers, that they rarely pay taxes and that they are uninterested in increasing efficiency. Small farmers, for their part, have huge problems in obtaining the credits and the amount of water they need.

The most important crop for domestic consumption is wheat. Rice is also an important crop, both for the domestic market and for export. Cotton is grown both for export and for the own textile industry. New cotton varieties with higher yields have been introduced.

Cotton and milk

The productivity of cotton inland is crucial for the country’s economy, as 40 percent of industrial workers are in the textile industry. Sugarcane, fruit and vegetables are other important crops.

Livestock management accounts for almost half of agricultural production. Pakistan is one of the world’s largest milk producers, which has promoted both nutritional intake and economy for many poor families. One disadvantage of the investment in milk production has been that it was all about increasing the number of animals, not breeding more productive cows, which had a negative impact on the environment through increased harvesting.

The tendency for all agriculture in the 1990s was that production did not increase as rapidly as the population. In the first decade of the 21st century, the increase in production in industry was about twice as high as in agriculture.

Fishing is conducted both near the coast and in lakes and rivers, and some of the catch is exported.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

22.6 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

47.8 percent (2016)

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Visit by the Prime Minister of India

Narendra Modi makes a surprise visit to Pakistan. It is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has been visiting the country since 2004. Modi receives a cordial reception from Sharif and the two gentlemen close in for a two-hour conversation. No details on what is being dealt with leak out. The opposition in both countries condemns the visit.

Successful missile test

Pakistan successfully tests a ballistic missile (Shahin 1-A) in the Arabian Sea. Earlier in the year, a government adviser said that Pakistan needed “tactical” nuclear-armed short-range missiles to deter India.

Refusing to accept rejected refugees

Relations with the EU are strained when Pakistan refuses to accept some 30 rejected asylum seekers aboard an aircraft from Greece. Greece has rejected the refugees for not having asylum, but Islamabad says their identity cannot be determined. The plane returns to Greece with the refugees on board.

Four are hung for the school massacre in Peshawar

Four convicted prisoners are executed by hanging for their participation in the school massacre in Peshawar in December 2014, when nearly 150 lives, mainly children, were killed (see December 2014).


Natural gas finds in Sindh

Austrian oil and gas company OVM says new natural gas reserves have been found in the Latif area of ​​Sindh. OVM shares the Latif concession with a Pakistani company and the Italian energy group Eni.


Twenty dead in Taliban attack on air base

Pakistani Taliban attack an air base in Peshawar and kill at least 20 people, including an army captain and 16 people in an adjacent mosque. Later, security forces kill 13 perpetrators.


Known terrorist fighters are killed

Punjab Interior Minister Shuja Khanzada is killed in a suicide attack in District Attock, eight miles northwest of Islamabad. Khanzada was known as the foremost leader in the fight against terrorism in Punjab. Forbidden Shia extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi takes on the act and says it is a revenge for the assassination of the group’s leader Malik Ishaq in July. Twelve other people were also killed in the assault in District Attock.

MQM leaves its seats in Parliament

The opposition party MQM leaves Parliament and its 51 seats in the provincial assembly in Sindh. MQM’s actions are a protest against the fact that the authorities, with the help of army soldiers, have attacked MQM supporters in Karachi. MQM has been accused of forcibly controlling Karachi, something the party denies. The authorities state that the strike was made solely to increase security and was not politically justified.


The leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is killed

Malik Ishaq, leader of the banned Sunni Muslim group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, is shot dead in Punjab. Ishaq, who had been arrested by the police a week earlier, is escorted by police when supporters of him attack the police card in an attempt to free Ishaq. Firearms erupt between police and supporters. Ishaq is killed along with two of his sons and eleven other members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group that has carried out many bloody attacks against the country’s Shiite Muslim minority.


The prevalence of polio is rapidly decreasing

The cases of polio in the country have decreased by 70 percent since the turn of the year 2014/2015 according to a representative of the government. The reason is that the military’s offensive against Taliban-controlled areas causes the Taliban groups who oppose the polio vaccinations to have less influence. Since the turn of the year, 25 cases of polio have been found.

Sentenced for the attempted murder of Malala released

Independent sources tell the British BBC that eight of the ten men who, according to previous information, should have been jailed for the attempted murder of Malala have in fact been released. It is unclear where they are currently. The task comes partly from a Pakistani diplomat in London and partly from the district police chief in Swat Valley.


Three are executed for hijacking

Three men convicted of aircraft hijacking in 1998 are executed. The hijacking failed when soldiers stormed the plane, and the men have been imprisoned ever since. They belonged to a student organization that demanded increased rights for Baluchistan. Four men convicted of murder are also executed.

Increased cooperation with Afghanistan against terrorism

Pakistan and Afghanistan enter into an agreement to share intelligence information with each other and coordinate intelligence operations to combat terrorism. The agreement was concluded after Sharif visited colleagues in Kabul with army and intelligence chiefs. It is considered by observers as a sign of improved relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

At least 40 dead in attack against Shia Muslims

More than 40 people are killed and around 15 injured when six unknown motorcycle perpetrators shoot guns with a Shia Muslim pilgrim’s bus in Karachi. Jundallah, a Taliban outbreak group, later takes on the blame for the attack.

Diplomats killed in helicopter crash

Eight people are killed when a helicopter crashes for unclear reasons in northern Pakistan. The victims include the ambassadors of Norway, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as the wives of the ambassadors of Indonesia and Malaysia. The diplomats were on their way to the inauguration of a tourist project when the crash happened. Two pilots and another crewman are also killed.

Investment in solar energy

Pakistan’s first solar power generation plant is inaugurated in Bahawalpur. The plant is built by a Chinese company. The Government aims to have the country’s electricity shortage corrected by 2017–2018.


Prison for the attempted murder of Malala

A special terrorist court sentenced ten men to 25 years in prison each for involvement in the assassination attempt of activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012. The Pakistani Taliban have pleaded not guilty to the attack.

The man behind the Mumbai bombing 2008 is released

Pakistan releases Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was in custody in Rawalpindi suspected of being the mastermind behind the 2008 terrorist bombings, against the bail. The decision stirs up a storm of condemnation from India, where it is believed that the release is an “insult” to the 166 victims of the attacks.

No to the Saudi alliance

Parliament unanimously rejects an invitation from Saudi Arabia to join the Saudi-led alliance that, in March 2015, attacked the Houthi rebels in Yemen (see Yemen, calendar). States that Pakistan remains neutral on the Yemeni issue and that Islamabad should instead play a diplomatic role in the conflict;

Visit by Sri Lankan President

Sri Lankan President Sirisena visits Pakistan, where the two countries enter into cooperation agreements in six areas: nuclear power development, sport, disaster management, shipping, drug-fighting and academic cooperation.


Twelve new executions

Twelve sentenced prisoners are executed by hanging. It is the largest number of executions performed in a single day since the school massacre in Peshawar.

Thousands of people in death are at risk of execution

The government decides to resume executions of people sentenced to death even for crimes other than terrorism. Since the school massacre in December 2014, 24 terrorists have been executed. Prior to that, no civilian person had been executed since 2008. Several thousand dead are now at risk of execution.

The government party is strengthened in the Senate elections

The ruling PML-N wins 18 of the 48 seats at stake in the indirect election to the Senate. The PPP gets 8 seats but still has a majority in the Senate with a total of 27, against 26 for the PML-N. For 4 of the 52 seats to be filled – half the Senate – the elections were postponed.

Hundreds of parents are arrested

Nearly 500 parents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been arrested since they refused to have their children vaccinated against polio. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio still exists. In 2014, more than 300 cases of the disease were registered.


Over 60 dead in attack against Shia Muslims

Some 60 people are killed in a suicide attack against a Shiite mosque in Sindh province. Dozens of people are injured in the explosion. It is the bloodiest sectarian attack in the country in several years, but in the last two years about 1,000 Shia Muslims have been killed. The extreme Sunni Lashkar-e-Jhangvi movement is suspected to be behind a large part of the attacks.

Weapons are distributed to teachers

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorities are beginning to distribute weapons to teachers and instruct them on how to handle the weapons. The reason is that there are not enough police to protect all 35,000 schools and university buildings in the province. However, carrying weapons in the classrooms is optional.

Thousands arrested after the school massacre

Following the massacre of schoolchildren in December 2014, security forces have arrested more than 9,000 suspected Islamist extremists, including up to 3,100 prayer leaders.

Death sentence for massacres of ahmadiya members

One man is sentenced to death and another to life imprisonment for participating in a massacre of members of the Ahmadiyya movement in Lahore (see May 2010). They are the first to be held responsible for the attacks on two of the movement’s prayer rooms when 82 people were killed. It is rare for some to be punished for the frequent abuses against ahmadiya, which is labeled non-Muslim by the Pakistani state.

Military courts are set up

Pakistan decides to set up military courts to deal with terrorist offenses. The law shall be in force for two years. Justifies the law that the threats posed by militant groups have led civil courts to investigate suspected terrorists and intimidate witnesses and prosecutors into silence; Human rights groups, including the International Law Commission, criticize the military courts as a threat to human rights and the rule of law in Pakistan. A government spokesman says the new military courts will investigate about 3,300 suspected terrorists over the next two years. Most have been seized by the military in connection with fighting in the Swat Valley as well as in South and North Waziristan.

Pakistan Agriculture and Fishing