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Pakistan and Green Revolution


Literature Review:

The agriculture sector has played an important role in the economic development of the developing world and in this regard, the developing world has witnessed the massive progress in crop production over the time span of last half century even under scenario increasing land prices and land scarcity. Consequently, It can be viewed from this fact that cereals crop production has seen three fold increase with increase of 30% area of land (ref) and thereby this factor contributed in acceleration of economic growth in the said period (ref.akmal). This increase of crop production is attributed to the Green Revolution which was introduced in order to gain maximum benefits from the agriculture sector (ref). Green revolution was termed as the development of modern or high yielding crop varieties (MVS) for better results in the developing world’s agriculture which began in 1950s. Furthermore, in mid 1960s the scientists developed  MVS of rice and wheat and that were subsequently released to Latin America and Asia and these were adopted in tropical and sub tropical regions with good irrigation system and reliable rainfall patterns (ref). This production growth also belied the fears which were presented by the Malthus in his famous theory of population which stated that the world would be full of misery and hunger due to increase of population geometrically and increase of resources arithmetically as due to the green revolution much of the developing world was able to overcome their chronic food deficits (ref). Much of this green revolution was caused by the combination of high rates of success caused by combination of high rates of investment in crop research and infrastructure development along with market development and appropriate policy (ref) and its impacts where more pronounced for those countries with poor investment on research process (ref).

The rapid increase in the output of agricultural crops which was caused by the introduction of green revolution was due to impressive increase of per hector yield of these crops during the time span of 1960 to 2000. The yield of different crops in developing world increased by 208% for wheat, 208% for wheat, 109% for rice 157% for maize, 78% for potatoes and 36% for cassava (reference). Further to this, the development and adoption of technologies due to Green Revolution also played its role in fall in the food prices by strategic shift in the supply function of the food. (refe). This can be evident from this factor that during the time period of 1960 t0 2000 developing countries witnessed the 12-13% increase in the food supply (ref). Furthermore, the impact of the green revolution can be estimated on the growth can easily been view from this fact that in the absence of these technical advancement of Green revolution, the developing world would have been at loss because it was estimated that the production of food in developing world would have been lower by almost 20% followed by the increase in the world food and feed prices by 35 to 65% and consequently, in that scenario the average caloric availability would be affected by this and there would be decline of 11% (ref).

Further to this, number of studies was conducted to discuss the impact of Green Revolution on poverty and the impact was profound on poverty reduction due to agriculture productivity growth (ref). For Asia, it was further estimated that 1 percent increase in the agriculture production has impacted the poverty by decreasing the number of poor people by o.48% (ref). However, the same effects of the green revolution were not found at these numbers in those poor areas of the South Asia where the land is dependent on the rain for agricultural practise (ref) along with factors of small land size and larger tenancy size (ref). Further to this, the Green revolution also bring some unintended consequences which effected the growth in the agriculture sector due to excessive water use, social degradation and chemical run off  (ref) and resultantly slowed down the yield during the 1980s (ref).

The massive increase in the world population draw the global attention towards the agriculture sector. Earlier, the role of agroculture was considered as unproductive and backward sector in the light of dual economy models inspired by the Lewis,1954 which emphasised on the shift of labour and resources from agriculture sector in order to have economic development by industrial sector which was considered as the productive and dynamic sector. But the views which consider agriculture as productive and leading sector was developed and emerged due to contributions of Johnstrad Muller (1961) and Schutz (1964). These writers emphasised on the front leading role of the agriculture sector in the development of other sectors as investment and reforms in policy decisions with respect to agriculture will foster overall economic growth and development even on the longer run the agriculture would grow at slower pace as compared to non agriculture sector (ref). Furthermore, Haggblade et all, (2007) also concluded that in Asia there was a positive multiplier effect from agriculture to non agriculture sector as compared to Sub-Saharan Africa. The experience of Asia with regard to green revolution during the 1970s and 10980s shows more confidence on the role of agriculture as an engine of growth when the agriculture in asia was changed from traditional set up and converted into more modernised and scientific sector (ref). It may be noted that majority people in developing part of the world are dependent on the agriculture sector and they gain much more from GDP growth due to agriculture sector instead of non agriculture sector (Ravaltan and chan 2003) Karry 2006 . Furthermore, since 1960, studies showed that labour productivity in agriculture has on average been growing faster than labour productivity outside agriculture (ref).

However, on the other side the green revolution also impacted on the other way around as it increased social and economical inequalities within agrarian areas with unequal land distribution and prevalence of tenancy as it helped large land owners to enjoy more benefits of the green revolution as compared to the smaller ones (akmal.4) Reardon and Berdegue, 2002; Maxwell, 2004; Collier and Dercon, 2009).

The studies conducted by the Jorgension et al. (1987) for United States and Lewis et al. (1988) for Australia found that total factor growth in Agriculture sector was more than as compared to the other sectors. Furthermore, the role of Agriculture sector can contribute for development of other sectors of the economy by indirect growth effect (Johnston and Mellor, 1961; Schultz, 1964) as every dollar produced due to production in agriculture caused 30 to 80% gains in the elsewhere sectors of the economy (Haggblade et al. 2007b).

Case Study: Pakistan and Green Revolution:

Pakistan is a developing country and agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan as beside contribution towards its GDP, agriculture sector provides raw material for industrial sector and further helps in poverty reduction in country. In the Financial Year 2015-2016, agriculture sector part in GDP was 19.8% and overall agriculture sector contribution in country labour force was 42.3%. Further to this, the importance of agriculture in Pakistan economy can be viewed from the fact that any loss in the agriculture sector impacts the GDP of Pakistan and in the financial year 2015-16, Pakistan was unable to achieve the growth target of 5.5% due to lower growth in agriculture sector (Economic Survey of Pakistan, 2015-16). The agricultural basket of Pakistan is mainly comprises of the wheat, sugarcane, rice crop and cotton and Pakistan is having integrated irrigation system in order to give support to its agriculture development (pak crops). During in 1960s at the time of introduction of green revolution in Pakistan, there were massive investment in the irrigation sector and for the development of the market (Renkow,2000). Subsequently, the Pakistani society was transformed and the wheat saw massive growth and the fear of food insecurity was retreated(Hazell,2010).

The green revolution in Pakistan was introduced in 1960s and the introduction of high yield varieties in Pakistan’s agriculture along with the better chemical fertilizers and tube well irrigation has impacted the agriculturel production in Pakistan to the great extent (ref). In Pakistan, the Green revolution was first introduced in its Punjab province and with regard to wheat production, Punjab experienced the increase of yield in wheat by 2.3% during the period from 1972 to 1987 due to the introduction of new wheat varieties (REF). However, the effects of the green revolution on different sectors of Pakistan economy remained a topic of discussion throughout the many years. In this regard, there are conflicting arguments on the effects of the green revolution on rural income distribution as Khan studied the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Punjab and observed that in Pakistan despite beneficial effects of the green revolution regional income disparities increases. He further mentioned that large farm holders gained more benefits of green revolution as compared to the small farm holders mainly because of the fact that the small land owners face the problems of credit constraints and small land holdings. On the contrary, Chaudhary presented opposite remarks on this aspect as according to him, both large and small farm holders are the beneficiaries of the green revolution. Further to this, the green revolution helped Pakistan in achieving handsome surplus and the adoption of green revolution varieties along with better market system and there was the fear among the workers of lower prices. The other sectors of the economy further saw the benefit of the green revolution with increase usage of modern equipment of tractors. These tractors made the market approach easier and faster for the farmers helping scaling up the market and helped the farmers to take advantage of the market of the scale which were previously not available to them and further enable them to take advantage of the differing levels of markets in Pakistan (Mohammad). Inequalities increased due to the advent of the green revolution in Pakistan and the root of these inequalities is in the innovations of the green revolution as the capital intensive products made it difficult for the small farmers to attain full benefits of the green revolution as compared to the larger farmers (saini).

The states decide to go for that sector of the economy for economic development where it enjoys factor abundance in order to gain maximum benefits of it. In this regard, Pakistan enjoys availability of the abundant labour sources which it can use for development of its agriculture sector. In this regard, in order to develop its agriculture sector, government of Pakistan introduced number of development plans. In this connection, the agriculture in Pakistan was grew by 1.8% per year in first such plan which was followed by 3.8% and 6 % growth in second and third plan respectively in West1 Pakistan. Further to this, this growth helped Pakistan in achieving the food requirement for both West and East Pakistan (reference).  Pakistan saw increase in agriculture production due to green revolution when the wheat out put was increased from 4.5 million to 8.4 million which becomes 83%. This increase in wheat output led towards increase in agriculture income which was earlier estimated at rupees 7.7 billion in 1959-1960 to 15.5 billion in 1969-70. Further to this, wheat production saw a double production from 3.7 millions tones to 6.8 millions tons and on the same lines rice production was also increased from 0.9 millions tons to 2.1 millions tons. Furthermore, Economic growth in Pakistan saw upward plunge when government provides subsidies and credit in order to encourage people to adopt and develop new technologies for agriculture growth. Moreover, the improvement in the pays of the daily wages rural workers was also witnessed in this regard. The other provinces where the irrigation and other conditions were not that conduvice like of Punjab and sindh saw growth in agriculture commodity. In this regard, baluchsitan shows commodity growth rate of 7.2% during 1964-70 against 7.1% and 7.3% growth of Punjab and Sindh Respectively (reference).

During this time of green revolution, the demand of labour was increased by 20-40% due to introduction of modern techniques in agriculture sector and its subsequent increased production (GILL). Furthermore, the impact of this progress was also seen on other aspects of the economy when it was estimated that 8000 jobs were created in the industrial towns of Pakistan in tube well manufacturing factories. Moreover, over 106,000 jobs were also added in the employment market of Pakistan in the manfucatring sector of Pakistan due to manufcatring of agriculture related equipment and products (reference).

There is a serious challenege for agriculturist to meet the feeding requirements of nine billion people in the middle of the 21st century (FAO,2009).

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