Being a farmer means shaking hands with Nature
When did Agriculture started?
If we go through history we came to know that agriculture has been started some 6000_ 9000 B.C when the archeologists found wheat and barley in mehirgarh and that was also the time when the people of Mehirgarh domesticated the cows, sheep and goats for milk and meat purposes so it means that the live stock has also been started in that age and this an interesting thing to know that this all credit goes to woman because woman learnt to grow the cereals from seed and it was a great discovery. So the food resources have been increased with meat, milk and agriculture products.
In 4000_ 5000 B.C, many harvesting equipments which were made by stones have been found and the people of Mehirgarh have also learnt to control over water and thus different irrigation systems they had started to practice, as a result Agriculture has developed. So, Agriculture is not a sudden thing but different gradual changes were held from time to time and it has not stopped but it’s an ongoing process because agriculture scientists are working for new technology i.e. improved and certified seeds, pesticides, machinery, vigor varieties etc.
Pakistan is an Agriculture country so that it is the major economic activity throughout Pakistan as well as in Balochistan. In GDP, Balochistan contributes 50 % and in Provincial domestic product it also can contribute 50% with 26 major crops while in minor there are 8 crops. When we come to the cultivated area it is 44% which covers 34.7 million hacters so, one of the main problem is to reclam the cultivable land.
The second major problem which is facing by the province is security of water which remains a critical and limiting source for sustained economic development. There is a big difference of crop yield between irrigated and rain fed /Sailaba areas. 90 % of the wheat and small grains comes from irrigated areas where as 10% only is the contribution of rain fed and sailaba areas. The situation is too worse in Balochistan as compare to the other parts of Pakistan because Balochistan contributes very less in non irrigated areas.
If we go towards the irrigation system of Balochistan, we come to know that the flood water resource is one of the main sources for agriculture in the province which is 57% of the total available water.
The second resource of water is the ground water that are springs, karezes, tubwells, open surface wells which has 0.4% contribution of the total available source and it covers Nari, Zhob, Pishin and Lora.
If we discuss the canal irrigated area, then we have to say t he second largest water resource after the flood water is the pat feeder, Kirther and other canal commands of the basin, which covers 31% of the total irrigated area of the province.
67% of the Indus basin canal command area of Balochistan by pat feeder canal system, Rabi channel canal and Escape channel of Kirther canal covers an area of 0.108 million hectare. These two systems covers 97% of total canal command area of 0.365 million hectare in Balochistan.
36% of the total irrigated area covers by the tube well where as 35% of the total cultivated area is by sailaba farming system.
The largest province of Pakistan, Balochistan covers 43% of the total area of the country , which is agro ecologically divided in to four main zones that are plains, uplands, deserts and coastal.
The crops grown in the province are wheat, rice, maize, jawar, bajra and barley has been noted as the important food crops of Balochistan. Wheat and jawar account for more than 50% of the cultivated area of the province. Jawar both Rabi and khareef.
Wheat is a political crop because deficiency of wheat cause serious problems of the country as it is the main food item of the table. It grows almost in all parts of the province but Naseerabad zone is the main area for wheat growing. Balochistan is wheat deficit province which depends on the provinces to meet the requirements.
According to the agriculture department, the province produced 8, 42,000 tons of wheat (2, 170kg/hac) in fiscal year 2011-12. Balochistan is a fruit basket of Pakistan. It produces 90% of national production of grapes, cherry and almond, 60% peach, and pomegranate. Apricot, 34% apple and 70% dates. The province produces 130 verities of date.
Highland Balochistan means the south western region is the fruit production region but it depends on the availability of ground water.
Because of the high delta fruits apricot and plum are grown in upland Balochistan. Balochistan produce the commercial verities of grape which is a low delta crop and it grown in bulk in Quetta, Pishin, Kalat, Zhob, Loralai and Mastung districts.If the traditional system is replaced by new technology in an appropriate manner it will be helpful to increase the production. Pakistan enjoys a strong position in world apple market, 80% Balochistan.
Domesticated animals have been an old occupation of the people in Balochistan as it has been mentioned above. It is one of the major important sectors of the province having of the 20% of the national stock but due to underdeveloped infrastructure and with little manufacturing facilities, the provincial economy is very low as compare to the other parts of the country. The biodiversity of animal genetic resources plays very important role in the economy of the province as each breed has its own uniqueness and socioeconomic importance but the real value of those animals have not been realized so, nothing has been done for their improvement.
In upper and lower highlands of the province supports as 76% of the livestock where as the southern lands supports 24% of total livestock population which means that most of the land does not support rearing of livestock round the year because the people migrates to different grazers to find feed for their livestock. There are different factors which affects this sector that are diseases, scarcity of vegetation on ranges and poor marketing facilities. The policies have not been good for the livestock as there is no training center for the farmers which train them in animal rearing or where the knowledge has to share according to modern change or nor any type of exposure visit where they could gain knowledge from the urban experts.
1.Book “ Baloch, Mehirgarh se tashkeel e ryasat tak” by Dr Shah Mohammad Marri.
2.Water info.net.pk/sites/default/files/knowledge/Balochistan Balochistan Economic Report- Balochistan’s water sector: issues nd opportunities
3. www.b.ari.job.pk. Index.php cereal.
4. www.Pakistan economist.com