Unprecedented floods last year wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s agriculture sector, revealed the Economic Survey 2022-23 that was unveiled on Thursday.
Pakistan’s agriculture sector was the hardest hit sector, both in terms of damages and losses due to floods.
In addition to 1,700 lives being lost, floods displaced 33 million people, damaged about 4.4 million acres of crops, while around 1 million animals also perished.
Total damages and losses amounted to $30.13 billion, of which agriculture suffered $12.9 billion (43% of total damages and losses), said the survey.
The crop sub sector contributed to 82% of the total damage and losses, livestock 7%, and fisheries/aquaculture 1%. Out of the total need of $16 billion for recovery and reconstruction, $4 billion (25%) was required for the agriculture sector.
“Pakistan contributes not even 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions but is ranked among the top ten climate-affected countries. Moreover, damages in the agriculture sector had a spillover effect on industry and allied services sectors.”
Resultantly, domestic production remained below the required levels, raising the prices of all essential food items to historic high, stated the survey.
Floods last year badly also affected the Kharif season, which saw the negative growth of cotton (41%) and rice (21.5%).
“However, Rabi season crops have shown higher yield, which compensated the crop damages of the Kharif season, leading to an overall growth of the agriculture sector to 1.55%. There was a production growth of wheat (5.4%), sugarcane (2.8%), and maize (6.9%).
“Furthermore, the normalization of livestock activities also led to convergence toward the stability path. The overall decline of important crops during this year is 3.20%.”
This year witnessed an increase of 0.23% in other crops (contributing 3.32% in GDP) primarily due to an increase in oil seeds production by 53.15%. Cotton ginning, having a share of 0.97% in agriculture and 0.22% in GDP, has declined by 23.01% due to decrease in cotton production.
Livestock, having a share of 62.68% in agriculture and 14.36% in GDP, grew at 3.78% compared to 2.25% during last year. The forestry sector, having a share of 2.23% in agriculture value addition and 0.51% in GDP, grew at 3.93% against 4.07% last year due to increase in timber production.
Fishing sector, having a share of 1.39% in agriculture value addition and 0.32% in GDP, grew at 1.44% compared to 0.35% during last year.