KARACHI: The agriculture sector growth declined to 2.77 per cent in the outgoing fiscal year 2020/21, compared with the growth of 3.31 per cent in the preceding fiscal year, the Economic Survey of Pakistan revealed on Thursday.
However, the agriculture sector growth was almost near to the target of 2.8 per cent set for the outgoing fiscal year.
The survey showed that the growth of important crops (wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and cotton) during the year is 4.65 per cent.
The production of major Kharif crops 2020, such as sugarcane, maize and rice indicated considerable improvement and surpassed the production targets, compared with the last year.
The production of sugarcane increased 22 per cent to 81.009 million tonnes from 66.380 million tonnes; rice, 13.6 per cent to 8.419 million tonnes from 7.414 million tonnes and maize, 7.4 per cent to 8.465 million tonnes from 7.883 million tonnes.
However, the cotton crop suffered mainly due to a decline in area sown, heavy monsoon rains and pest attacks. The cotton production reduced by 22.8 per cent to 7.064 million bales from 9.148 million bales last year.
Wheat is the most important Rabi crop, which showed a growth of 8.1 per cent and reached a record high production level of 27.293 million tonnes, compared with 25.248 million tonnes last year. For the Rabi crops 2020/21, the government provided a comprehensive “Rabi Package”, comprising subsidies on fertiliser, fungicides and weedicides, together with an increase in the minimum support price of wheat to Rs1,800/40kg.
Other crops having a share of 11.69 per cent in agriculture value-addition and 2.24 per cent in GDP, showed a growth of 1.41 per cent because of increase in the production of fodder, vegetables and fruits. Cotton ginning declined 15.58 per cent due to fall in the production of cotton crop.
The overall crops sector, having a share of 35.81 per cent in agriculture value addition and 6.87 per cent in GDP, witnessed a growth of 2.47 per cent.
Water availability during Kharif 2020 remained at 65.1 million acres feet (MAF), showing a slight decrease of 0.2 per cent, compared with 65.2MAF of Kharif 2019. Rabi season 2020/21 received 31.2MAF, showing an increase of 6.9 per cent over Rabi 2019/20.
According to the survey, domestic production of fertiliser during FY21 (July-March) increased 5.9 per cent over the same period of the previous year, mainly due to increase in the supply of additional gas. There was an upsurge in total off-take of fertiliser nutrients by 15.2 per cent largely due to the upward revision in wheat support price and decrease in the urea price by 12 per cent.
During FY21 (July-March), the total tractor production was 36,653, compared with 23,266 produced last year, an increase of 57.5 per cent. The increase was largely due to an improved liquidity position of farmers.
The agriculture lending institutions disbursed Rs953.7 billion during July-March, FY21, which is 63.6 per cent of the overall annual target of Rs1,500 billion and 4.6 per cent higher than the disbursement of Rs912.2 billion made during the same period last year.
Livestock having a share of 60.07 per cent in agriculture and 11.53 per cent in GDP, achieved a growth of 3.06 per cent. The fishing sector, with a share of 2.01 per cent in agriculture value addition and 0.39 per cent in GDP, grew 0.73 per cent, while forestry sector, having share of 2.10 per cent in agriculture and 0.40 per cent in GDP, grew 1.42 per cent, the survey revealed.