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Mechanised agriculture: a way forward


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THIS is apropos of Faisal Bari’s article ‘Why not land reforms?’ (April 26). I am a farmer and a doctor as well.

India observed a significant decline in agricultural productivity after redistributing land to the landless.

This was because of extreme fragmentation of land which made agriculture a low-profit venture. In my opinion, challenges to the agriculture sector in Pakistan like the expensive fertiliser and pesticide, electricity outages, expensive fuel and water shortage are so severe that fragmentation of land would bring a steep decline in agricultural output.

It is critical to mention here that it is by and large the agriculture sector which makes Pakistan relatively stable in terms of inflation and food security irrespective of the global trends.

Furthermore, I also want to highlight this widely acknowledged fact that politics in India still remains as dirty as it has always been.

Therefore, the rhetoric of changing politics by means of land reforms remains a myth. Moreover, there is no coherent theory or standard protocol of land reforms in the world. The world has witnessed nepotism and inequalities during the redistribution of land to the landless.

I further want to focus the point that the US, the breadbasket of the world and the country with the world’s largest agricultural output, did not reach this position through land reforms.

The reason behind its productivity is highly mechanised farming. It uses only 10 per cent of its human resource in agriculture compared to 47 per cent in Pakistan.

If we really intend to change the lives of our rural population, which reflects itself in Pakistan’s politics, we need to mechanise our agriculture and shift this potential rural human resource to other sectors like manufacturing and industry.

This would definitely bring a decline in the feudal influence in Pakistan’s politics, without compromising the growth of agricultural sector.


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Comments (4) Closed

singh May 01, 2013 07:17pm
It is not correct that the farm production decreased due to small land holdings in India . On the contrary it increased manifold .Small farmer started thinking to survive.He got what he worked for. From farm labor he became a farmer. It developed his attitude to be innovative. He hired machines to be economical viable. Govt provided low interest loan to buy pumps and tractors. There is minimal corruption in farm sector or farm related bank loans in India.
farmerdr May 01, 2013 08:49pm
It is a catch 22 situation. For cost effective mechanization and increased productivity we need ample energy. Electricity is short and Diesel is unaffordable. Biogas is inadequately utilized. We need to stop pretending that the elephant in the room is invisible. Until population growth is halted or reversed we will never be self sufficient.
farmerdr May 01, 2013 08:54pm
Land reforms may not increase revenue but they distribute land ownership so that more people benefit and many can escape from the poverty trap.
gangadin May 01, 2013 02:37pm
US food is contaminated, mass produced, genetically altered and source of many chronic diseases including cancer. No I don't have any double blind controlled studies to prove it. Just read the labels. Any thing that you cannot pronounce or doesn't look familiar, does not belong in your food. Even birds won't eat the buns from a fast food chain because they know its not food.