Economy is a race, but for sure, it is not marathon race that put all the citizens in one line and make them run. In real sense, it is a race where participants are first analysed, priorities are set according to the analysis and needs are defined in the light of the priorities.
Government considers its resources and targets, set the rules and regulations for the race, and sketch out the grounds of the race and the expected results. All this pain is taken just to make sure that one does not remain alienated in this race just because of lack of resources.
New grounds must be provided to those who are not able to take part in a particular kind of race. All this is only possible when national priorities represent the true national need, and resources along with the problems are an integral part of priorities.
It is because material resources and human resources are as important for the success and growth as the natural resources. From the day one, we have been lacking the educational capabilities, and we badly need technical experts.
These are the two reasons that even after having sufficient natural resources we face the giant of financial problems and consequently we never been able to utilize our natural and human resources.
Agriculture has been an important part of performance in the race of economy. Agriculture feature in every budget speech, it can be seen in the progressive plans, but still we never embraced this field and never bothered to gain ultimate progress in it.
The visionless and aimless leadership made us happy with the bubble of self-sufficiency in the agricultural products and this bubble busted with the pin of inconsistent priorities and targets. Our priorities kept changing from the “small industries” to “self-sufficient agricultural products”.
As these goals were not set in line with the agricultural capabilities, therefore we gained industrial growth that came with unbalanced economy in the package deal.
Damaged political structure, nationalization of industries and banks did the real harm to the industrial growth consequently; we neither gained the status of industrial country and nor the agricultural country in true sense.
There has been a great deficit of research in the field of agriculture, today agriculture of this country is fighting hard for its survival of its own all because of the social and cultural norms that has been tagged with the agriculture for centuries and has been declared out dated by many nations.
During last two decades, there has been one more experiment with the economy of this country and that was the experiment of “makeup Economy”. This concept spread rapidly in the army rule. Makeup economy portrayed “trading”, “banking”, and “consumer economy” as the real face of economy and only best way to success.
That is why General Musharaf used to quote the number of cars, mobile phones, and other equipment of luxuries as the parameter of economic growth. Because of the attraction of makeup economy, it grabbed a huge work force that was engaged in agriculture earlier, it created a shortfall of skilled human resource in agriculture.
This real issue is not only economical but also social and political issue. It is quite complex situation that how our economy turned the national resources into the fuel of luxurious makeup economy. Material growth should have resulted in the economy based on luxuries, but in our case there was neither a material growth nor a growth and progress in the skill and ability of human resources subsequently luxurious economy put more pressure on industries as well as agriculture this pressure caused a huge loss of capital and labour in agriculture.
By the way our agriculture deals with almost 65% of our total population, it provides raw material to around 50% industries, what can we expect from it after such loss.
This is a vicious circle of incidents that interlinked all the factors and things, the products of makeup economy put pressure on the energy and what happened next is almost known to every one of us, there is no electricity, tube wells are not working, and industries are shutting down, unemployment is increasing with supersonic speed.
The situation is far more alarming than what we can see and only solution at this time is hidden in agriculture. There is a lack of production within country therefore we are bound to import things to fulfil the demand and this is the major reason for calling agriculture the solution of the problem.
We spent $ 3.16 billion on the imports edibles and drinks and what has been the situation can be judged by the fact that $240 million was the amount paid for total edibles imports in the month of March this year.
Our markets are full of such imported edible products that can easily be produced in the country, and a huge amount of foreign exchange can be saved. There is a complete confusion about where are we heading to but the way this journey is going on the last stop is nothing but dust.
Agriculture must get the due respect and importance in this race of economy because this is the safe way to sustain the position and gain progress in this race else these confusing preferences will do more harm than ever before.
This is one side of the coin tough and ignoring the other side will be against the justice, even after all those problems and all those issues that of agricultural sector is facing. After all the ignorance from the authorities this sector is still alive and not only alive struggling to bounce back, the example can be the wheat production of 24 million metric tons after the rains in the harvesting season.
Pakistan exported 4 million ton rice, after all Pakistan is still among the leading cotton producers in the world with 11.7 million bales. this is just an example of the potential that this country have just give it a chance and it will stupefy everyone once again as it did in mid 60s with Green Revolution.