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Pakistan’s agriculture sector shows resilience, growth in 1HFY24

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ISLAMABAD, May. 24 (INP) — Pakistan’s agriculture sector has exhibited resilience and growth during the first half of the ongoing fiscal year, contributing significantly to the country’s economic recovery, reveals State of Pakistan’s Economy Report for 1HFY24.

Pakistan’s real GDP saw a positive trajectory in the first half of FY24, recording a growth of 1.7% compared to 1.6% in the same period last year. The driving force behind this growth had been the agriculture sector. Agriculture output rebounded, with 6.8% growth in 1HFY24 compared to 1.8% over the same period in FY23.
Moreover, the SBP report states that the recovery in agriculture positively impacted agro-based industries, with a notable reduction in the contraction of large-scale manufacturing (LSM) compared to the previous year’s same period.

The report further highlights that the key factors driving agriculture growth were timely support measures like minimum support price (MSP), enhanced input availability, and increased credit disbursement to the agriculture sector and policy incentives, resulting in significant boosts in cotton and rice production. These factors also prompted farmers to expand wheat cultivation. This resulted in a 6.8% growth in agriculture output in 1HFY24, with significant contributions from major crops and livestock, says the report.

While challenges like fertilizer affordability and seed shortages persisted, overall agricultural performance improved. Water availability remained adequate for Kharif crops.

Noteworthy achievements in crop production included a substantial increase in cotton production, improved rice and maize production, and a promising outlook for wheat despite challenges like a dry spell in December 2023. The government’s MSP policy played a vital role in incentivizing crop production, although improvements are based on global practices.

Additionally, the increase in agriculture credit disbursements, coupled with financing schemes and awareness programs, supported farmers in meeting their financial needs and facilitated agricultural mechanization, the SBP economy report notes.

The report highlights that continued policy support, technological advancements and sustainable practices will be pivotal in maintaining this positive trajectory and ensuring a robust agricultural sector in the future.

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