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ISLAMABAD: Agriculture sector registered a positive growth of 4.40 percent and surpassed its target of 3.5 percent and last year’s growth of 3.48 percent, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22.

The survey noted that this growth is mainly driven by high yields, attractive output prices and supportive government policies, better availability of certified seeds, pesticides and agriculture credit. The crops sector outperformed and posted a growth of 6.58 percent during 2021-22 against 5.96 percent last year, it says.

According to the survey at sub sectors level, important crops, other crops and cotton ginning showed a significant growth of 7.24 percent, 5.44 percent and 9.19 percent, respectively, against last year’s growth of 5.83 percent, 8.27 percent and -13.08 percent.

Growth in production of major crops including cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize are estimated at 17.9 percent, 10.7 percent, 9.4 percent and 19.0 percent respectively. The cotton crop increased from 7.1 million bales reported last year to 8.3 million bales during 2021-22, rice production increased from 8.4 million tons to 9.3 million tons, sugarcane production increased from 81.0 million tons to 88.7 million tons, maize production increased from 8.9 million tons to 10.6 million tons.

However, wheat production decreased from 27.5 million tons to 26.4 million tons. During 2021-22, area sown decreased to 8.99 million hectares (2.1 percent) against last year’s total of 9.2 million hectares.

The survey noted that the production of wheat declined to 26.394 million tons (3.9 percent) compared to 27.464 million tons last year. Wheat production declined due to decline in area sown, shortfall in irrigation water and drought conditions at sowing, less fertilizers offtake and heat wave in March and April, though the government has increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) to Rs 2200 per 40 kg this year is aligned to the cost of production.

During 2021-22, cotton cropped area declined to 1.9 million hectares (6.8 percent) against last year’s 2.1 million hectares. Cotton production increased to 8.329 million bales (17.9 percent) against last year’s 7.064 million bales. Despite decline in area sown, cotton production increased due to improved yield.

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Sugarcane was cropped on 1.2 million hectares recording an increase of 8.2 percent compared to last year’s sown area of 1.11 million hectares. A bumper sugarcane crop production recorded at 88.651 million tons during 2021-22, up by 9.4 percent over last year (81.009 million tons).

The higher domestic sugar price and better sugarcane procurement price incentivized growers to dedicate more area to sugarcane, favourable weather conditions, better management and timely availability of quality inputs, it says.

During 2021-22, the rice crop was sown on 3.5 million hectares, showing an increase of 6.1 percent as against 3.3 million hectares last year. The record high output of rice stood at 9.323 million tons during 2021-22, higher by 10.7 percent than last year’s production of 8.420 million tons. From the last couple of years, area under rice cultivation is witnessing rising trend.

Maize crop was sown on area of 1.6 million hectares in 2021-22 and recorded increase of 16.6 percent over last year’s cultivated area of 1.4 million hectares. Maize crop output recorded at 10.635 million tons witnessing significant growth of 19.0 percent over 8.940 million tons last year.

Livestock having share of 61.89 percent in agriculture and 14.04 percent in GDP, recorded a growth of 3.26 percent in 2021-22 compared to 2.38 percent during same period last year.

Other crops having share of 13.86 percent in agriculture value addition and 3.14 percent in

GDP, grew by 5.44 percent on the back of increase in the production of pulses, oilseeds (24.75 percent), vegetables (11.52 percent), fruits (1.53 percent) and fodders (0.36 percent).

During 2021-22, gram production grew by 36.3 percent and reached to 319000tons on account of availability of certified seeds and favourable weather conditions compared to last year. The production of rapeseed & mustard increased by 26.7 percent while production of Jowar and Bajra witnessed a decrease of 33.3 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively, due to decline in area under cultivation. The production of Barley and Tobacco remained at the last year’s production level.

According to the survey, the production of chillies, potato and moong increased by 36.6 percent, 35.1 percent and 29.0 percent, respectively, as compared to same period of last year. However, the production of mash and onion declined by 11.6 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, while production of masoor remained same over last year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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