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Last updated: August 21, 2019

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     INTRODUCTIONThe base ofeconomy in any agricultural society is always on the agricultural developmentbecause in rural areas the main source of earning livelihood is farming andlivestock. Pakistan is originally and basically is an agricultural country sothe main source of economy is agriculture. As we know that Pakistan is adeveloping country but not a fully developed so the pace of development isslower than those countries that are developed. In the rural areas of Pakistan,the rural population is developing technologically but the pace of thisagricultural development is very slow. The fact of poor condition of farmers isalso the low profit of farming they get from agriculture. The overallresult of this poor condition of the population of rural areas in our countryis the bad condition of agricultural development.The mainpurpose of this topic is to see the performance of agricultural sector in the Pakistan’seconomy and the condition of poverty in rural sector of Pakistan regardless ofany specific province. In this report we also consider the dimensions of ruralareas and rural poverty in Pakistan.

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We also discussed and viewed the causes ofrural poverty in Pakistan that is causing constant decline of economy of ruralpopulation. Large numberof the population in developing countries lives in rural areas. Rural povertyis more prevalent, deeper, a more severe than urban poverty. It is high amonghouseholds that are in agriculture, informal and small business, and casuallabour or people keeping livestock.

In rural Pakistan, there is higher povertyand worse human development situation than urban areas, and if we talk aboutrural South Punjab and Balochistan, they are comparatively much poor than the otherprovinces (IFAD, 2001, p. 49). The traditional agricultural of less developingcountries was needed to be transformed as the existing technology offered verylittle growth opportunities due to a very little profit. Agriculturaltechnological transformation in Pakistan was made possible in the form ofscientific and technological based work like high and good yielding varietiesof seed, fertilizers, pesticides and water canal system by a greater spread ofagriculture mechanization like tube-wells and tractors. The result was that thegrowth rate in agriculture sector jumped from 1.8 percent per annum in thefifties to over 5 percent per annum in the 1960s.

This state of affairs wastermed as the so-called green revolution’ (Malik, 1992, p. 22). According tomost reliable estimates, the percentage of rural population in povertyincreased from 41 percent in 1963-64 to 55 percent in 1969-70 (Amjad and Irfan,1984, p. 30).

The decade of the 1970s has witnessed a steady decline in thepercentage of rural poverty from the level attained in 1963-64. This impliesthat keeping in view a high rate of growth of population – e.g.

, 3 percent perannum – the absolute numbers in poverty have considerable increased. Given thatthe rate of agricultural growth during the 1970s was not higher than that ofpopulation growth, how can then above decline in percentage rural poverty beexplained? On this, the opinion is almost unanimous. It is believed that theincrease in overseas migration (largely to Middle Eastern countries) that tookplace in the 1970s had an important impact especially, on the rural sector.

According to a survey about 63 percent of migrant workers came from the ruralareas (Gilani etal, 1981). There was asignificant increase in poverty in the 1990s in Pakistan unfortunetly on thebase of slow and low growth, lack of social safety nets, decline in the flow ofremittances from overseas Pakistani workers, shedding of surplus labour bystate owned enterprises and deterioration in the quality of governance.  2.    WHAT IS RURAL POVERTY The conceptof rural poverty is the low economic status of the rural population, havingpoor facilities of health, education and living standard whether it countshouseholds or way through which anyone earns his livelihood. Rural populationis generally having fewer opportunities of employment, quality education, poortransport system and poor health facilities.

The rural population also tends tobe less healthy and less educated, as well as experiencing poorer servicedelivery and limited employment opportunities. 3.     CONCEPTS AND ISSUES OF RURAL POVERTY It iswitnessed that the large number of the population of developing countries livesin the rural areas. Rural population also has fewer opportunities ofinfrastructure and latest technological and scientific developmental facilitiesto increase their agricultural profit. Poverty is more in the rural areas andrural households are mostly affected by poverty.

The urbanpart of any country is always got more attention than the rural part of thecountry. So whenever anyone has to see the development of ant country, considerthe urban areas of the country so in the result rural areas always getneglected and their issues are very rarely get attention. Thenegligence of governmental organization also counts in this phenomenon. Lack offarming facilities also a big issue. Agriculture in Pakistan is not as muchadvanced or developed as it is in china or any other developed country of theworld. An overall thinking of people about agriculture, consider agriculture asan no advanced and backward profession to adopt and earn money through farming.This consideration is also a big hurdle in the agricultural development. Lack ofappreciation of farmers is also a cause that degrades farmers to work more hardand be consistent.

There arealso some large areas of the whole country which are able to be farmed and foragricultural production but not in use of farming.Illiteracyin rural areas of Pakistan is also a cause of poverty in rural Pakistan. Havingno knowledge about any rights given by the state and having no othereducational or technical skill except traditional way of farming is also acause.  Rural areas are often less populated and thedensity of population is low. So the infrastructure of the rural areas is notso functional and large as it is seen in the urban areas.

Infrastructure alsoincludes the health facilities, educational institutions, roads and transportsystem, households, new technological advancements etc, they all lack in ruralareas. Lack of industrialization causes in lack of job opportunities and fewerchances of employment except farming and livestock. The poor transport systemdoesn’t let the farmers to reach to the markets to sell their crops in a timesaving period.

Most of the daily life use products are natural and there isvery less amount of products that are factory made are used. Goods and servicesare not as much advanced as in urban areas. The natural environment is very pureand clean in rural areas. Education system is very in a bad condition in ruralareas and very few schools and colleges are there which do not give highereducation.

Lack of technical institutions that gives skillful training.Traditional values and norms are strictly followed by everyone. Law and ordersituation is not very good in rural areas so the disputes are solved bypunchait or elders or influential people of the society. There is a lot ofresistance against new norms, values, technology and advancement in the ruralsocieties. Often the feudal system is there in the rural areas and this alsocause poverty in rural areas. 4.    LITERATURE REVIEW A number ofstudies have shown that the increase in human capital reduces the likelihood ofbeing chronic poor or transient poor. Such evidence from literature has beenseen in the milieu of the education of the head of the household (Wlodzimierz,1999; Arif et al.

, 2011) as well as the education of the children to overcomethe persistent poverty (Davis, 2011). However, only formal education does not matter;the innate disadvantages and lack of skills are also significantly associatedwith chronic poverty (Grootaert et al. 1997). Regarding health, the inadequatedietary intake triggers off a chain reaction, leading to the loss of bodyweight and mutilation of physical growth, especially among children (Hossain andBayes, 2010).

The households that have a permanent disable person arerelatively more likely to face persistent poverty (Krishna, 2011).The ruralpoor are widely dispersed, possess a variety of income sources and may beethnically diverse. Constructing an overview of rural poverty allows targetgroups to be identified as a preliminary step to formulating coherent povertyreduction policies. The most important source of diversity among the ruralpoor, and between the poor and non-poor, is found in their sources of incomeand patterns of expenditure.

The rural poor commonly possess multiple sourcesof income from agriculture, rural non-farm employment and transfer (private andpublic). By focusing on the main income source of poor rural households, it ispossible to construct a simple typology of rural poverty groups. This typologyis illustrative. Many factors affect rural poverty.political stability, the qualityof governance, and macroeconomic and sectoral policies (Alderman et al, 2001).The ILO Report (2003, p. 27) on ‘working out of poverty’ rightly remarks onrural poverty as, A better understanding of the social and economic dynamics ofrural communities is critical to the reduction and eradication of poverty.

Theworld’s poorest countries are those most dependent on agriculture.Three-quarters of the people in extreme poverty line in rural areas, usuallythose remote from the main centers of economic activity or with the leastproductive land. The starting point for such an analysis is an understanding ofthe seasonal nature of farming and the high risk of crop failures, which causelarge fluctuations in the generally low incomes of rural populations,particularly in areas with unreliable rainfall and poor soils. Agriculture is the core industry in most ruralareas, employing between half and two-thirds of the work force in the world’spoorest countries and generating between a quarter and a third of national outputin many developing counties.

 5.    SOME FEATURES OF RURAL AREAS 1. Rural areas are often less populated and the density ofpopulation is low. So the infrastructure of the rural areas is not sofunctional and large as it is seen in the urban areas.2. Infrastructurealso includes the health facilities, educational institutions, roads andtransport system, households, new technological advancements etc, they all lackin rural areas.3.

Lack ofindustrialization causes in lack of job opportunities and fewer chances ofemployment except farming and livestock.4. The poortransport system doesn’t let the farmers to reach to the markets to sell theircrops in a time saving period.5. Most ofthe daily life use products are natural and there is very less amount ofproducts that are factory made are used. Goods and services are not as muchadvanced as in urban areas.6. Thenatural environment is very pure and clean in rural areas.

7. Educationsystem is very in a bad condition in rural areas and very few schools andcolleges are there which do not give higher education.8. Lack oftechnical institutions that gives skillful training. 9. Traditionalvalues and norms are strictly followed by everyone.10.

Law andorder situation is not very good in rural areas so the disputes are solved bypunchait or elders or influential people of the society.11. There isa lot of resistance against new norms, values, technology and advancement inthe rural societies.

12. Oftenthe feudal system is there in the rural areas and this also cause poverty inrural areas. 6.    SPATIAL DIMENSIONS OF RURAL POVERTY There aresignificant differences between rural and urban areas, both are heterogeneousand in most countries.

Rural areas close to the major cities and other longsettled agricultural regions may be well connected to national andinternational markets and have adequate supporting infrastructure and a rangeof enterprises producing inputs and processing outputs of the agriculturesector. In such regions the incidence of poverty may be relatively low.  Most  of the rural population who earn a living inagriculture are small-scale farmers. They are often unable to produce money tosustain their lives in a good way. Most of the rural population is in livestockkeeping, in which their whole dependency is on the water, fields and food fortheir animals. While any program will be likely to focus on increasing thelevel and value of production, determining what this might entail will requirestrong participation of the potential beneficiaries. This is particularlyimportant with groups such as livestock herders who are often not well cateredfor in agricultural development program because they may not always reside inthe same or may be of a different ethnic/linguistic groups then the majority.Livestock serve multiple functions (income, food, traction, organic fertilizer,savings and assets) and the relative values and potential outputs of these tothe poor are not always apparent, and emphasis must be placed on the needs ofthe herders.

 7.    AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ECONOMY OFPAKISTAN  Pakistan is anagricultural country. At the same time failure of agriculture to provideopportunities for full employment and to give the rural population a standardlivelihood to survive and progress economically. The changing due toagricultural technological advancement increased the yield but at the same timeit created problems to adopt and use of technology in the developing world.

However, the agrarian structure and the system of land tax have changed andthese changes affected the infrastructure of rural society. This transformationin the agricultural field also a cause of political influences and land eliteswho made the policies in the favor of elite land owners and benefited themwithout knowing the needs of small farmers. In spite of these problems,agricultural progress slowed down in the 1970s with the growth rate coming downto 2 percent per annum due to mainly the lack and neglect of support servicesespecially agricultural extension, research and training which was needed as afollow up to green revolution. The trend of diminishing returns, however, wasreversed by the end of 1970s as a result of favorable weather conditions,better distribution of inputs and perhaps, price incentives offered to thefarmers, a subject which needs some explanation. Since the agricultural growthhas been modest and quite uneven. The most impressive record of agriculturalgrowth was in the 1960s, followed by the decades of the 1980s, with the samereasons. In the last decade, agriculture has grown at an average rate of 3.5percent per annum, which is lower in against the 1980s.

In 1950,about 85 percent of Pakistanis lived in rural areas and over one half of GDPwas contributed by the agriculture sector. Notwithstanding the fact that non-agriculturalsources have become quite important contributors to the national income,agriculture remains the key sector in terms of its backward and forwardlinkages affecting the living standards of urban and particularly ruralhouseholds. The transition referred to above has seen brought about by severalfactors, including 1.

     Growth of output and diversificationof agriculture, 2.     Employment of labour in non-farmactivities and migration of rural labour to urban areas, 3.      Growth of population, and 4.      Changes in the pattern of land ownership,tenurial relations and parcelization of landholdings due to the growth ofpopulation and laws of inheritance. The issues of rural poverty and developmentcannot be fully appreciated without examining several interrelated aspects ofchanges in the agriculture sector.

Rural areas are the major reservoir ofpoverty in Pakistan and agriculture is the main activity on which most ruralpeople depend for their livelihood. To understand the determinants of ruralpoverty, it is particularly important to examine the role of agriculture inPakistan’s economy and the nature of rural economy. The transformation ofPakistan’s economy and the role of agriculture are reflected in Table 1. Thoughthe importance of agriculture has been declining in the overall process ofeconomic growth in the country, its contribution is still significant; itengages 48.42 percent of the country’s labour force; creates about one-fourthof the GDP. It is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings and meets theraw material needs of the country’s major industries; namely, textiles andsugar. A vast majority of the rural population – which is about 67 percent ofthe country’s population – depends on agriculture for its income.

 TABLE 1  Role of Agriculture in Pakistan’s Economy Year Percentage share of agriculture in GDP Percentage of rural labor force Percentage of rural population 1950 53 68 85 1960 45 59 78 1970 38 57 74 1980 29 52 71 1990 23 47 69 1995 22 45 65 2000 25 48 67.5 2002 24 48.42 67 Source: Khan(1999) and Pakistan Economic Survey (various issues). The highlyaggregate growth rates of agricultural output do not reveal important aspectsof growth and distribution.

For one, not all sub-sectors in agriculture haveexperienced sustained growth, which is amply demonstrated by serious commodityimbalances within one crop year and over time. Second, not all growth inoutput, even in those activities in which it has been experienced in anysignificant way, has come from increased efficiency or at lower cost. Third,the growth experience has been highly uneven between various regions evenwithin one province, particularly between regions with or without irrigation.Of course, provinces with limited irrigation facilities and infrastructure havebeen seriously handicapped.

Finally, farm groups have also been affectedunequally, depending upon their access to land and other related income-earningopportunities within agriculture or outside. All of these generalizationscannot be demonstrated with precision mainly because of insufficient data, butthey are supported by a substantial body of evidence from studies based on thescattered primary (farm-level) and secondary (aggregate) data (Khan, 1999, pp.100-101). Farm credit can be a major source of acquiring new technology for anefficient and profitable agriculture. Farmers in Pakistan have been greatlyconstrained by the inadequacy of the credit market.

Most of the credit acquiredby small farmers comes from non-institutional sources, including friends,relatives; money lends traders, commission agents and landlords.  The totalarea of Pakistan is about 80 million hectares (197 million areas) of which 27percent is cultivated area, 11 percent is cultivable waste and 4.5 percent isunder forests (total 42.5%).

The remaining 57.5 percent of the area consists ofdeserts, mountains and is unsuitable for agricultural and forestry. Theland-ownership in Pakistan is highly concentrated. A large percentage of therural population, over 20 percent, is land-less which forms a class ofagricultural laborers. They sell their household labor in order to earnlivelihood.

5 There have been three major attempts at land reforms in Pakistanin 1959, 1972 and 1977. The land reforms of 1959 succeeded in acquiring asurplus land of 2.53 million acres, representing about 4 percent of thecultivated land. One evaluation found that as much as 0.93 million areas of theacquired land consisted of uncultivated land, hills and riverbeds (Qayyum,1980).

   8.    SOLUTIONS TO ELIMINATE RURAL POVERTY Constructinggood roads web to make transport and communication easy and time saving.Makeindustries and other employment opportunities for people of rural areas so theydon’t migrate towards urban areas for employment.Arranging seminarsabout farming techniques that could increase their profit in farming.Promoteagriculture and farming which are the main sources of income in rural areas.Governmentshould introduce schemes of financial assistance and loans for farmers of lowscale so that they could increase their productivity.

Industriesshould be established in the rural areas so that the job opportunities createdand people not engaged in the agriculture get some source of earning money.Healthfacilities should be given to the people so that they do not spent a lot ofmoney in medication.Avoidcorruption which is the most cause of poverty mainly in rural areas.Promotepeace and unity in order to avoid political instability. This will attractinvestors to invest in rural areas.

Marketaccess is important for farmers so that they could reach the markets easily tosell their crops.Researchesshould be done in order to cope with the climate change and overcoming theother agricultural problems.Budgetshould be increased for the development of agriculture.

Educationsystem should be regulate efficiently and number of educational institutionsshould be increased.Seminarsabout the importance of education should be conduct.Socialprotection programs should be introduced for disable and old age people.Encourageand empowering women and female farmers in farming.Equal accessof land, water, technologies and financial opportunities should be given toeveryone regardless men or women.Promotingthe use of advanced farming techniques and their benefits and this could bedone by extension workers. Land reformsshould be done after some years to meet the need of rural population.

 Build the resilience of rural communities tocope with and recover from natural disasters. Strengthen the human capacities of ruralpeople. In that context:  Create and develop educational programs forrural communities aimed at disease prevention.Improvingthe access of rural people to new technologies and farming techniques.Influence offeudal system should be eliminated so that each one get equal opportunity toprogress.

 Invest in essential infrastructure andservices for rural communities. 

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