Pakistan is basically a farming country. Chief occupation of the people is farming. About 80 per cent of the people comprise agriculturists and farmers who mostly earn their livelihood by tilling the soil and working hard in their fields. The total cultivated area in Pakistan is about 4 crore square miles. Generally, there are two crops,the Rabi (hari) and the Kharif (Soni). The Rabi crops include wheat, barly, gram and oil seeds. Wheat is the staple food in Pakistan. The kharif crops consist of rice, maize, pulses,cotton and sugarcane. Rice is also the staple food in this country. The other important crops which are grown in Pakistan are tobacco and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Pakistan has been bestowed by nature with a variety of high quality of fruits such as mangoes, bananas, oranges, lemons, peaches, apples,grapes and melons.
Farming is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy. Hence, since independence, some efforts have been made to improve the farming sector. We see, after independence, this sector underwent some basic reforms more than twice. It was tried to remove the ills of the British days which prevailed in the farming field. Particularly, attempts were made to improve the relationship between the landowners, and land-tenants. Besides, concerted efforts have been made to modernize farming in Pakistan. Old methods of cultivation are disappearing. Instead, modern methods are becoming popular. Modern farming machinery is used now. Tractors, threshers and fertilizers are now widely in vogue throughout Pakistan. The government is taking keen interest in developing the agriculture sector. The government provides adequate information about the scientific methods of farming, proper care of livestock and encourages cooperative use of tractors, artificial fertilizers and quality seeds to increase production. Factories have been established to manufacture and assemble farming implements and to produce fertilizers in adequate quantity. The government provides seeds of high yield. Maxi-pak wheat and Irri rice are now the most popular varieties. The credit facilities have also been expended. The Agriculture Development Bank is also playing a very constructive role in the progress of farming. It grants loans and helps the farmers in their efforts to improve their farmlands. The international agencies like the World Bank are also helping Pakistan in many ways to overcome its food difficulties. In the recent years, Pakistan has attained self-sufficiency in wheat, sugar and other commodities. The sugarcane, maize and rice crops registered substantial gains. A domestic free market in wheat and sugar has been developed and both commodities have now derationed.
Inspite of all this, Paksitan is still facing many serious problems in the farming sector. The most crucial problem in this regard is the problem of water logging and salinity. Much of irrigated land is rendered uncultivated every year. However, the government is trying its best to arrest this menace.