Economy of Pakistan largely depends on agriculture. It provides livelihood to millions of people who are associated with agriculture one way or the other. There are two crop growing seasons in Pakistan.
One is the Rabi in which the crops are sown in the beginning of winter season (October-November) and harvested in early summer (April-May). Wheat, barley, grams, oilseeds and pulses are some Rabi crops.
The other crop is the Kharif which is sown in summer and harvested in winter. Rice, sugarcane, maize and cotton are some Kharif crops.
According to an estimate the golden bales of wheat are grown 31.6% of the total cropped area which is about 8,303 hectares. The annual yield of wheat was 21,700 tons in 2005-6.
Cotton the “King of fibers” is grown on 3,096 hectares. Cotton is an important cash crop. 2/3 of Pakistan’s expert earnings are from cotton and its products.
Rice the third major crop is grown on 2,621 hectares approximately 10% of the total cropped area with 5,547 tons being the average output. Different varieties of rice are grown in the plains of Punjab and upper Sindh.
Rice is also grown in the terraced fields of NWFP on a small scale. Besides these three major crops, sugar cane, oilseeds, pulses, grams, maize, barley and tobacco are also grown here.
Pakistan also produces vegetables and export quality fruits. Besides land farming, livestock farming, fish farming are also practiced in Pakistan. While livestock farming is mostly done in Punjab.
Fish farming is done along the coastline. The Pakistani coastline is 1090km long and is divided between Sindh (30%) and Makran (70%). The coastline is rich in marine life especially Sindh.
The mangrove forests provide a breeding ground to fish and shrimps. The fish and shrimps from Pakistan are exported to Europe, Middle East, USA and Japan. Local consumption of fish in Pakistan is quite low.