The agricultural sector is the backbone of the Pakistan economy as it directly supports three-quarters of the country's population, employs half the labor force and contributes a large share of foreign exchange earnings. The agriculture mix of Pakistan is heavily based on important crops, which include wheat, rice, sugarcane maize, and cotton. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, 2018 - 2019, the agriculture sector contributes 18.5% to the country's GDP, employs 38.5% of the Laborforce, provides livelihood to 62% of the population, and constitutes 65% of Pakistan's export earnings approximately.
There are two principal reasons for the production of these crops in Pakistan, which are Kharif and Rabi. Cotton, rice, and sugarcane are produced during the Kharif season, which lasts from May to November, whereas wheat, cereals, pulses, linseed, mustard are produced during the Rabi season, which extends from November to April.
In 2016 - 2017, Pakistan registered a record 3.45% of growth in the agriculture sector. This growth was attributed to a number of initiatives taken by the government to improve the overall agriculture sector. Such initiatives have been detailed in the "Governmental Initiatives to Improve Agriculture Sector" below.
Despite being a major producer of sugarcane, rice, wheat, maize, cotton, etc., Pakistan's agricultural output for these crops lags in terms of yield when compared with other countries where agriculture is a major economic activity. This reflects a tremendous opportunity for both local and foreign investors to invest in bringing modern agricultural techniques through the introduction of agricultural equipment and machines. This will not only lead to an increase in overall yield at the country level through efficient utilization of agricultural land but at the same investment in the agriculture sector will result in a higher return for both local and foreign investors.
Pakistan is one of the largest producers in the world of some of the crops as mentioned below:
Pakistan has one of the largest irrigation systems in the world
The other crops account for 11.36 % of the value-added in overall agriculture and contribute around 2.25 % to the GDP.
Of the total, 16.5 million hectares of cultivable land in Punjab, a vast 1.7 million hectares are still available for corporate farming. Likewise, as much as 30% of horticultural produce that goes to waste every year can be converted into economic gain by investing in agribusiness value chain industries.