Pakistan missed the target of agriculture growth during 2014-15 as the sector registered a growth of 2.9 percent against the target of 3.3 percent. According to Economic Survey 2014-15, the country missed agriculture growth target because of negative growth of wheat, sugarcane and Maize crops during 2014-15. The agriculture's crop sub-sector component which includes important crops, other crops and cotton ginning showed growth of 0.3 percent, 1.1 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
Important crops accounted for 25.6 percent in agricultural value added and experienced a meagre growth of 0.3 percent in fiscal year 2014-15 against growth of 8.0 percent during the same period of last year on account of revised production estimates of wheat crop.
The important crops performance remained weak as only cotton and rice production recorded positive growth of 9.5 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively while sugarcane, maize and wheat production recorded a negative growth of 7.1 percent, 5.0 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively with respect to last year estimates.
Wheat is the leading food grain of Pakistan occupying the largest area under single crop. Wheat contributes 10.0 percent to the value added in agriculture and 2.1 percent to GDP. Area under wheat has decreased to 9180 thousand hectares in 2014-15 from last year's area of 9199 thousand hectares which shows a decrease of 0.2 percent. The production of wheat stood at 25.478 million tons during 2014-15, showing a decrease of 1.9 percent over the last year's production of 25.979 million tons. The production decreased due to prolonged winter season and unprecedented rains during April & May that damaged grain at harvesting time.
Sugarcane accounts for 3.1 percent in agriculture value addition and 0.6 percent in GDP. During July-March 2014-15, sugar export fetched foreign exchange of US $171.78 million.
The cropped area for sugarcane stood at 1141 thousand hectares during 2014-15 against last year's area of 1173 thousand hectares showing a decrease of 2.7 percent. Sugarcane production for the year 2014-15 stood at 62.7 million tons against 67.5 million tons last year showing a decrease of 7.1 percent. The decrease in production is due to decrease in cropped area over last year as well as competing crops (rice and cotton) which discouraged growers from bringing more area under cultivation; disposal problems of sugarcane and payments difficulties also restricted the acreage of sugarcane.
The cotton crop production accounts for 1.5 percent in GDP and 7.1 percent in agriculture value addition. During July-March 2014-15, textile industry fetched foreign exchange of US $10.22 billion. During 2014-15, the cropped area of cotton stood at 2961 thousand hectares, showing an increase of 5.5 percent over last year's area of 2806 thousand hectares. Cotton production for the year 2014-15 stood at 13.983 million bales against 12.769 million bales last year showing an increase of 9.5 percent.
Rice accounts for 3.2 percent in value added in agriculture and 0.7 percent of GDP. During July-March 2014-15, rice exports earned foreign exchange of US $1.53 billion. During 2014-15, rice was sown on an area of 2891 thousand hectares showing an increase of 3.6 percent over last year's area of 2789 thousand hectares. Rice recorded highest ever production at 7005 thousand tons, showing a growth of 3.0 percent over corresponding period of last year which was 6798 thousand tons. Rice production increased due to more area brought under cultivation, timely availability of irrigation water and more acreage under high yielding Hybrid rice varieties.
Maize contributes 2.1 percent to the value added in agriculture and 0.4 percent to GDP. Area under maize crop has decreased to 1130 thousand hectares in 2014-15, showing a decrease of 3.3 percent over last year's area of 1168 thousand hectares. The production of maize crop stood at 4.695 million tonnes during 2014-15, showing 5.0 percent decrease over last year's production of 4.944 million tons. The production decreased due to decrease in area sown.
Other crops contributed 11.1 percent in value addition of agriculture and recorded an increase of 1.1 percent during 2014-15 against negative growth of 5.4 percent during the same period last year. This is due to increase in production of pulses, vegetables and fruits which recorded positive growth of 13.0 percent, 2.5 percent and 0.9 percent respectively on account of better water availability, more fertilizer offtake and relief in the prices of agriculture inputs and enhanced availability of agriculture credit against the negative growth of pulses and vegetable which registered (-) 35.9 percent and (-) 8.8 percent, respectively.
During 2014-15, the gram pulse, one of the major pulses grown in rain-fed areas on marginal lands recorded production of 484 thousand tons against the production of 399 thousand tons during the same period last year - 21.3 percent growth due to increase in area and favourable weather conditions. The production of Bajra, Jawar, Mustard and Barley witnessed decrease in production by 14.3 percent, 13.4 percent, 9.9 percent and 9.0 percent respectively during 2014-15 as compared to the same period last year. The decrease in production is due to decrease in area sown. While the production of Tobacco remained the same when compared with the production of the comparable period last year.
The livestock sector which contributes 56.3 percent to agriculture recorded a positive growth of 4.1 percent in 2014-15 against 2.8 percent growth during the same period last year. The fishing sector contributed 2.1 percent in agriculture value addition and recorded a growth of 5.8 percent as against last year's growth of 1.0 percent. Forestry sector posted a growth of 3.2 percent this year as compared to the negative growth of 6.7 percent last year.