Independent family farmers are the pillars of their communities. The food they grow and the livestock they raise provides sustenance for the whole family as well as self-sustainability as farmers can sell their produce to the marketplace.
Agriculture is an extremely important sector of Pakistan’s economy. It plays a vital role and lays down the foundation for economic development and growth in this country. Agriculture contributes more than 21 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides employment to 45 per cent of the total labour force of the country. It provides raw material to the industrial sector on one side and is a market of industrial products on the other side. In the export earnings, direct as well as indirect share of agriculture is very high.
Almost 64 % of the population of Pakistan resides in rural areas and earns its livelihood, directly or indirectly, from agricultural activities e.g. crop cultivation, livestock rearing, labour in agriculture, agriculture input supply, transportation of agricultural output to the market etc. Therefore, development of agriculture is synonymous to the development of the country.
[Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics][/Source:]
Livestock contribution to agriculture value added stood at 55.9 percent while it contributes 11.8 percent to the national GDP during 2013-14 compared to 55.5 percent and 11.9 percent during the corresponding period last year, respectively.
Gross value addition of livestock has increased from Rs. 756.3 billion (2012-13) to Rs. 776.5 billion (2013-14), showing an increase of 2.7 percent as compared to last year.
[Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan & Livestock Sector (2013-2014)][/Source:]
Why family farmers need help
Family farmers in the Pakistan are under extreme economic pressure and thousands are pushed off their land every year. This crisis in farm country is threatening the very existence of the family farm in America. As family farms are forced out by large, factory farms, the quality of our food, our environment and our food security is in danger.
In 2000, severe drought hit parts of Pakistan. In the Province of Baluchistan over 1.2 million people in the province were directly affected by drought. Millions of animals across Pakistan also perished.
Why family farmers are important
Independent family farmers are the pillars of their communities. They grow high quality food, are active in civic life, and are essential to the economic vitality of both their home towns and the nation. As stewards of the land, family farmers work to protect the soil, air, water, and biodiversity in addition to producing high-quality, healthy food for everyone..
How it works
We work with different types of farmers in a range of regions, from dry rangelands to lush, diverse forests. Their situations may vary, but these small-scale farmers face increasing economic and environmental challenges. Al Mustafa Welfare Trust® offer grants to lease farm property, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust helped to protect more than 100 families in Asia and Africa.
The Looming Crisis
The agriculture sector continues to be of little interest to policy makers. In official circles, there seems to be little effort to understand the complexities and challenges facing it. The performance of agriculture has repercussions at multiple levels for the national economy. For one, it continues to be the largest employer in the country accounting for 45 per cent of the labour force.
The looming threat of water scarcity is an issue that is rarely talked about in Pakistani politics, and yet it constitutes one of the biggest challenges to Pakistan’s survival. With a projected population of 263 million in the year 2050 (United Nations 2012), Pakistan needs to put serious thought into how it will provide adequate water for agriculture, industry, and human consumption in the face of rapidly dwindling reserves. The Himalayan glacier, whose ice melt replenishes the Indus River’s annual freshwater, is receding by about one meter – the approximate equivalent of 3.3 feet – per year due to global warming. This phenomena has had a staggering impact on Pakistan’s water availability. In just 1950, Pakistan had around 5,000 m3 per capita per year of freshwater resources. In 2002, its supplies shrunk to only 1,500 m3. To put that number in perspective, around 1,000 m3 is when a country is declared water scarce.
The mismanagement of water will have its biggest impact on Pakistan’s agricultural sector. According to the World Bank, 43% of Pakistan’s employment is in the agricultural sector (WDI 2014). This prosperous industry relies on the single largest contiguous irrigation system in the world. While this is an impressive feat, Pakistan also fosters one of the lowest crop yields per unit of water in the world. This is alarming because Pakistan uses a whopping 97% of its water resources on its agriculture industry.
Around a quarter of the water delivered from irrigation is wasted from poor farming practices; the biggest culprit being the warabandi system of water management in rural areas. According to this system, each farmer has a specific day to irrigate his or her field. The quantity of water used is irrelevant—each farmer pays a flat fee. Although this system was intended to be equitable in the face of water shortages, in reality, farmers who have first access can take a lion’s share of the water. Since water is not priced based on usage, there is nothing to discourage waste and overuse. As such, large and powerful farmers have greater access to water from the Indus, which forces small farmers to rely on tube wells to extract groundwater. In turn, over-extraction of groundwater negatively affects the salt content of soil, leading to further environmental destruction. This inequality in water distribution also negatively affects crop yields, since small farmers do not have access to adequate water supplies. [Source: American Pakistan Foundation][/Source:]
Pakistan Agriculture & Livestock Statistics
of 79.61 million hectares of land in Pakistan is cultivated
Million hectares of land is uncultivated
of the cropped area is used to grow Food grains
of the cropped area is cash crops
of the cropped area are pulses
of the cropped areas are oilseeds
Million population of Cattle throughout Pakistan
Million population of Buffalo throughout Pakistan
Million population of Sheep throughout Pakistan
AMWT® Farming & Livestock Programme
Approximately half of farmers are owner-operators and about one quarter are tenants. It is common for tenant farmers to be in debt to landowners. In total there are over 4 million family farms, with an average farm size of 4.7 hectares. Although most rural people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, many of the poorest also depend on non-farm activities for income. The exact number of landless wage-labourers, the most vulnerable segment of the population, is not known.
Those who suffer most acutely from rural poverty are small farmers with limited land and livestock, landless farmers and especially women, who – as a result of systemic gender discrimination – have little access to resources, services or assets of their own. A major cause of rural poverty in Pakistan is the highly unequal distribution of assets, particularly land and access to water. As a result, the direct gains in income from crop production tend to accrue to a small fraction of the population.
Please help the farmers of Pakistan by supporting this programme that will help these poor, hard-working marginalised farmers regain their livelihoods by providing them with new animals, seeds to grow drought-proof crops, help source fresh water supplies and provide better irrigation/water saving techniques.
Our Farming & Livestock campaign hashtag on facebook, google+, instagram, flickr and twitter is: #supportpakistanfarmers
How your donations can help
- For £600.00 you can provide a farmer with 1 Dairy Cow
- For £55.00 you can provide a farmer with 1 Sheep
- For £50.00 you can provide a farmer with 1 Goat
- For £9.00 you can provide a farmer with 1 Chicken
Make your Monthly or One-Off Donation
To make a monthly donation simply choose the project and monthly amount and period (years) from the drop down list, click “add to cart” then you will be directed to your shopping cart page where you can view/amend your cart and then click “proceed to checkout”. If you wish to enter your own amount then choose “Other” from the Amount dropdown list.
Farming & Livestock Monthly Donation
To make a one-time donation simply choose the project and amount from the drop down list, click “add to cart” then you will be directed to your shopping cart page where you can view/amend your cart and then click “proceed to checkout”. If you wish to enter your own amount then choose “Other” from the Amount dropdown list.
Farming & Livestock One-Off Donation