Agriculture Policies And Cropping Pattern In Punjab Province Of Pakistan: Issues Of Water And Environment
Author: Muhammad Ashfaq

Over the years, Pakistan has relied heavily on its agriculture sector. Agricultural produce not only meets the local demand but is also a source of foreign exchange earnings. However, the increasing water stress in the country begs the question of cropping choices. This study aims to evaluate agricultural policies’ support in adopting the existing cropping pattern in Punjab with respect to three main crops i.e. rice, sugarcane and cotton. Along with this, the issues of water scarcity and environmental impacts of the existing cropping pattern has also been evaluated. For this purpose, time series secondary data has been collected from Agricultural Policy Reports from 1980-2014 issued by Agricultural Policy Institute (API). Descriptive statistics, regression models and the latent content analysis have been applied for the analysis of the data. The results indicate that the area of the crop, market price, labour employed, use of pesticides and fertilizers have positive impact on the production of rice, sugarcane and cotton while the area of competing crops have negative impacts on the production of these crop. The cropping choices of three crops (Rice, Sugarcane and Cotton) have shown an upward trend since 1980-2014. The cropping choices have been mainly motivated by market and support prices, except for a few years where natural disasters have played their part. Market price and support price show a positive relationship with area of that particular crop. Farmers’ profitability has been evaluated and the results show that farmers are relatively better off in these crops’ cultivation. Use of heavy pesticides and fertilizers damages environment very badly. A mention of gender division and female farm worker’s well-being has also been assessed whose findings indicate gender insensitivity in the policy documents and no relief offered for the cost of different operations done by farm workers. The study recommends that Govt have to increase the market and support prices to increase the area of particular crops, authorities should devise and implement new water prices, Extension Programme are advised for the training of farmers to appropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides and wages should be given directly to the workers to ensure that all the employees (male and female) are getting paid for their work. Supervisor:- Dr. Anwar Hussain

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Supervisor: Anwar Hussain

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