Save Agriculture – Save Pakistan by Inamullah Khan

Posted on September 21, 2015 Articles



Dr.Agha Inamullah Khan

IMG_5088221st September 2015

Of all the variety of cash crops grown in Pakistan, a country which Allah has blessed

with all four seasons, rice and wheat have been our staple food since the times the

earth opened its eyes in to earliest of civilizations like Mesopotamia(Modern Iraq) and

Harappa & Indus valley(Sindh).

Wheat in sub-continent is unique for its taste and crispiness that it adds to bread which

is never to be found anywhere else in the World. Two decades ago one of the scientists

in West called Nap Hall researched to study as to what particular series of genetic base

pairs in its DNA gave it a peculiar taste that is found here in wheat of Pakistan and India

only; and concluded that such flavor is only result of natural genetic mutation that has

occurred over thousands of years which is not possible in any modern Research lab

and quite interestingly that peculiar flavor is only possible in this particular soil, and

environment and nowhere else.

Pakistan produces around 6 to 6.5 million tons of rice of both the coarse (IRRI) and the

fine (Basmati) varieties, and exports more than half of the total produce. Out of 2 million

tons production of Basmati variety, a high quality grade of rice that only grows in India

and Pakistan, the country exports 800,000 – 900,000 tons.

Eximp produces 100,000 tons Basmati every year and exports about 70% of its produce

and has country’s largest rice-processing mill located on 67 acres in Muridke; the heart

of Basmati growing rice in Punjab. Although it is the biggest exporter of Basmati, it still

is looking to enhance its capacity to 150,000 within the next two years. But how could

you achieve that! is a question mark when declining rates comparing Basmati rates for

local farmers back in 2013 were 2200/40 kg of raw paddy dropped to 900/40kg last year

in 2014 and as a result farmers switched to coarse varieties that too dropped from

900/40kg to 680/40kg last year. The alarming death bells really keep ringing for

Agriculture in Pakistan; keep aside the fear of unpredictable crazy weather and sky high

prize of inputs.

India and Pakistan are the only two countries in the world which produce Basmati but

India’s top quality Basmati rice is much better than Pakistan’s; main reason being the

difference of inputs that is 30% more in India, because their policies are farmer friendly,

their produce gets proper due rates in market and are not looted by middle men the way

they are here and there is substantial farmer friendly gap in cost of cultivation and crop

income, to encourage further sowing.

A Rs 341 billion agriculture relief package announced by Prime Minister is waste of

money as it is not going to compensate the losses endured per acre. Subsidized

fertilizer rate of PKR 500/ bag less is only going to benefit PKR 1000 per acre or cash

support of PKR 5000/acre is nothing to minimize the impact of loss in rate that sums up

to be around 35,000/ acre for Basmati variety and 24000/ acre for non Basmati or

coarse varieties.

Estimated cost of Cultivation for Rice:

Seed PKR 62.5/kg 10 kg used/ acre….. Basmati variety 100/kg

Land preparation for nursery, nursery management for minimum of 21 days until

transplanted, irrigation, micro nutrients, pesticides, Urea application/ acre PKR 2000

Land preparation of one acre of land where seedlings to be transplanted

Cultivator deep plough and leveling, puddling after irrigation, PKR 4400/ acre

Seedling plucking labor + Seedlings shifting, Transplantation labor costs/ acre PKR

1800

Phosphoric Fertilizer one bag/ acre on cash from market PKR 3700/bag on credit PKR

5000/acre

Weeding 800/ acre

First application of Urea, one bag/ acre, on cash PKR 1970, but since most farmers

cannot afford to buy on cash from market they take it on credit to be paid later at the

time of harvest paying mark up with total cost being PKR 2600/ bag.

Second application of Urea same cost.

Pesticide one bag of Cartep PKR 2000/ bag/ acre

Other inputs (zinc, Boron, humic acid) 2000/ acre

Manual reaping and bringing paddy stalks for thresher PKR 3600/ acre

Mechanized threshing PKR 70/ 40 kg for average yield of 40 monds/ acre total

threshing cost/ acre 2800

Taking grain to market for each 100 monds to be shifted to market the cost of transport

is 2500 (loading labor, unloading)

For each 40kg bought by mill owner deducts one kg, which stands at 40 kg/acre for

average yield of 40 monds/ acre.

Sum of total cost/ acre = PKR 33100 +

Average yield of Basmati Between 34-40 monds/acre Last year low rate was 1200/

mond

For coarse variety average yield is between 44-60 monds/ acre. Last year low rate was

between PKR 825 and further dropped to PKR 670/mond.

Last year exports earned at 1.84 billion but even last year farmers were deceived given

low rates for their bumper crops while middle men and exporters made their fortune. But

this year it seems impossible to touch that target due to declines in international market

but farmers would be hit hardest to survive whereas exporters can always switch

business but farmers have no hope. The depressing rates of Basmati and damages due

to low rates last year; farmers were discouraged to sow Basmati variety, switched to

coarse varieties, used less inputs to save money considering the unpredictable market

prize of their produce to take on minimum impact of loses fearing low rates again. Now

it’s the matter of their utmost survival. The only hope now is if the existing government is

efficient enough to make inroads in Iranian and Russian markets but the government

seems more interested in election campaign of Mr. Ayaz Sadiq and busy planning ways

to hide their corruption in Nadipur & Metro Projects and crime committed in Model Town

and the methods to fail National Action Plan. Planned damage to Agriculture may

somehow give them oxygen to please their masters in west where they have their all

investments from the looted money here increasing IMF and World Bank debts on

common men. They are well set to achieve a goal for them engineering an economic

disaster almost carpet bombing agriculture sector, creating total chaos and a possible

armed rebellion or civil war like scenario for piece of bread and that will ultimately help

their agenda of destabilizing Pakistan.

Am I being paranoid? Who and why would someone be interested in killing Agriculture

in Pakistan? What is the Agenda? It has been 7 years of rains and flash floods, no

doubt since 2008 and the farmers mostly staying little over red line already for long but

trust me it is not the climate change or bad luck, but the exploitative policies at

Provincial and Federal levels. The pre planned economic disasters on papers only,

artificially created to import food stuff to meet the carefully engineered short falls to

make billions on commissions, the “Commission Culture’. They rob us of our rightful

share. We grow the best fruits, vegetables, cotton, sugar, wheat and rice, better in

flavor, aroma and nutrients than anywhere else in the world amid harsh weather or any

scientific methods or mechanized farming used as traditionally done elsewhere but yet

we gain very little and even suffer losses. Beginning with inputs they are costly, seeds

and pesticides are sub-standard, often spurious & urban based speculators, middlemen

and exporters manipulate the market. They form buying cartels, and with the

connivance of bureaucrats and Politicians, import grains and pulses when our crops

start reaching the markets. The rotten policies of our governments, and on top of it, the

rotten mindset of disgust among Urban dwellings against farmers, the way they put it

especially in Sindh; the rotten speeches by Mr. Altaf Hussain and local Nationalist

parties’ leadership for their political gains and with anti Pakistan agenda, when they roar

the phrase Wadera Shahi, leaves common urbanities to hate farming because as per

agenda to destabilize Pakistan the best and last option left now is to ruin its agriculture.

They somehow have managed to link the word Wadera with agriculture. Not everyone

who owns even 10 acres of Agriculture land is Wadera. And there are only few to count

on fingers left who own agriculture land more than 10,000 acres in Sindh. The word

Wadera in near past used to be for someone who is Wada (Elderly) or looks after day to

day problems of locals in a community, to whom people preferred presenting their

problems to be resolved instead of going to Police as matters going to Police stations is

considered an insult and especially when role of Police itself is compromised.

Unfortunately that term got hijacked by the one in power and is being misused now to

sustain power and hold on to community for his personal gains, in Politics, Police,

criminals and other power circles to stay in Power and the communities at large are

enslaved by various means now carefully holding on one’s daily economic earnings in

their hands. Without going much in detail the current war to destabilize Pakistan after

banning of Mr. Altaf’s speeches baton now rests on shoulders of Prime Minister and the

plans are being engineered by Primer and his friendly opposition by Zardari League

because Zarb e Azb has failed the main terrorism on ground except for few pockets of

terror to be eliminated, and exposing links of their funding from various means, including

rich clergy, Politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs, Stockbrokers, Bankers and rich

Businessmen. Considering the fact that those evil coined terms now Wadera or

Chodhry if mean Feudalism or Dictatorship, then allow me to say, Sharif brothers and

Co, Zardari and Co, Altaf and Co all are Waderas & Chodhries and are involved directly

or indirectly ruining fate of millions of poor of this country. Whether you like it or not, it is

these soils which are being now converted to housing schemes and shopping sprees

forcing us to sell them to these corporate Godzila. And it is these communities where

agriculture for thousands of years has been our main source of income and our very

roots are there where our ancestors bones are by now fertilizing the vegetation that we

all feed on and we share biologic link of inheritance with our sacred soil that runs in our

blood for unprecedented bond that makes us Proud Pakistanis. It is just our deep faith

in our community and heritage that keeps us going and not your manipulated economic

rationale anymore. But for how long will that last? If the prizes of produce are not set

that were back in 2013 as mentioned above despite the fact that tariffs of all other

commodities have increased; I am afraid this might be last year for Agriculture in

Pakistan, and for Pakistan, because enemy has failed in all other attempts and is now

out there to hit you at your heart. Do not let it die please, wake up. Save Agriculture,

save Pakistan.