The agriculture sector is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy as it contributes around 20 percent in the overall gross domestic product (GDP) – which stands for the total value of all final goods and services produced within the economy during a certain period- and is also a big source of employment. It helps meet the food requirement of an ever-increasing population, providing raw materials to all the major industrial sectors including textiles, leather, sugar, flour milling, etc., and has a significant role in decreasing rural poverty.
This sector also provides 65 percent of the total exports of Pakistan. A further breakdown shows 73.2 percent is cotton and cotton-based products while fruit, rice, livestock, and others contribute 26.8 percent. The agriculture sector provides employment to 42.3 percent of the country’s total labor force while in Punjab it provides employment to 43.5 percent of the people in the province, and to more than 61 percent in the rural areas. No doubt, modern agriculture is the need of time to feed the increasing population. There are some pragmatic approaches that can be helpful in this regard. There should be the adoption of resource conservation technologies and adoption of sustainable measures along with the proper use of synthetic chemicals along with manual, mechanical, and cultural practices to get rid of insect pests. For water conservation laser land leveling, mulching and cover crops should be used. Deforestation should be discouraged due to the wildlife forests which are the only habitats. Shelterbelts should grow on field borders. The use of organic products, manures, and composts should also be encouraged. Integrated approaches must be adopted because we cannot slow down the increasing population but we can reduce the use of harmful products. Integrated pest management (IPM), integrated disease management (IDM) integrated weed management (IWM) integrated nutrient management (INM) can be helpful for sustainable environment and agriculture. Awareness must be aggravated in farming communities. Improved agricultural practices (ICPs), On-farm management practices (OMPs), good agricultural practices (GAPs) collectively can ensure success. Extension workers and researchers should promote resource conservation and media should help to spread these words. For better production in a safe and naturally preserved system, collective efforts from institutions, research teams, and the farming community are needed.