Sunday, August 8, 2010

University Reseach VI; Agriculture

Agriculture is Pakistan's backbone feeding a large and ever increasing population.There is shortage of water and arable land.Agricultural productivity in Pakistan is very low,lower than India and much lower than Egypt, Turkey,Saudi Arabia and Mexico and many other comparable developing countries.

Poverty and poor farmer who cannot buy the required inputs in right quantity and of right quality have been cited as to be one of the main reasons.But this is not the only factor. There are some 30,000 large and very large farms owned by rich land lords who can afford all kinds of inputs.Productivity of large farms is also not commendably high,although a factor of 2 has been cited as the ratio of the highest and the lowest productivity.

Apparently no less attention has been paid to agricultural research in Pakistan. There are several agricultural universities and a number of very large agricultural research centers employing thousands of scientists,although under-paid and under-utilized.It is said that quite useful research is done,which is not passed on to the farmer.

Consultancy incubators could play quite some role ,in off-loading the under-paid and under-utilized agri-scientists and marshaling towards offering extension services to the farmer.Such services can be subsidized by the federal provincial governments at least initially.But the scientists will get better paid work and agriculture will get technical input that would hopefully increase the agricultural productivity , even if the large farmer gets the benefit from such ventures.

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