Agricultural productivity - Remedy to Poverty!

“It is not the abundance of the natural resources, cheap labour, size of the population or might of the army which helps the economy grow,” “it is productivity. It is the value that you add. It is not material, what you do, what is material is how you do. It is the uniqueness that you create. It is the value that you add. And it is the quality of the national (socio political and economic) business environment and the erudition (learning) that leads to all this.” – Michael Porter – a celebrity of the Harvard Business School

Pakistan has potential to double her production from the existing cultivated land by adopting modern practices.

A rural poor is deprived of knowledge, improved skills and adequate resources to make a fate bearable.

Over 70% population is directly engaged in agro-related businesses. And there is NOT a single school, all over Pakistan, for operational training in this massive and huge sector. Unfortunately, Government’s recent drive for technical education is focused on everything but agriculture.

Narrowing gap between production cost and income is meet by farmers by reducing their own living cost/standards. Unfortunately not much cushion is left with the poor farmer to sustain more adversity. These conditions are reflected on the attire and faces of rural poor.

Farmers do not have knowledge of improved practices & methods and have little or no resources to apply the knowledge to reduce costs and increase production. Knowledge is essential for efficient conversion of resources into productivity. The correct parameter for efficiency check is consumption of liters of water, kilograms of fertilizer, liters of fuel and man-hours for the production of one ton of a crop.

Only a breakthrough in farm production through efficient use of in-puts can increase the gap between cost of production and income, necessary to improve living conditions of the masses.        

Unless we increase on-farm productivity, we just can’t alleviate poverty.

Majority of the poor lives in the rural areas, which are dependent on farming. The cost of production that is producing one tone of crop is among highest in the world due to lower yield thanks to the poor conversion ratios due to lack of crop production knowledge and inadequate farm supplies.

Centuries’ old practices are in use, exceptions those took place during the past 40 years is partial replacement of bullock by tractor, use of chemical fertilizers & pesticides, improved seeds and use of tube-wells for water supply.

To improve the per acre yield and conversion ratio whole set of practices needs to be changed in the areas of water application, seed bed preparation, planting, use of chemical fertilizers, plant protection, harvesting and post harvesting.

Knowledge and Resources for application of knowledge are the two key factors for productivity. For an example, if one has a computer operating knowledge, he has to have a computer to use the knowledge; vise-versa if one has a computer, it is meaningless unless he is provided with training for its productive use. Unfortunately farmers lack in both; know-how and resources!

Pedaver has setup 1st center to cover following areas’ of vital importance on permanent basses. Application areas those will coordinate to alleviate poverty in a near and longer term are:-

  1. Operational Training on On-Farm Practices
  2. Timely Provision of Adequate Resources (Equipment & Supplies)
  3. Post Harvest Handling, Storage and Marketing
  4. Mechanism to finance Farming Operation

 1.       Operational Training on On-Farm Practices: There was no place available to the farmers to acquire knowledge for the efficient use of available resources to obtain higher productivity. In the Technical Education drive On-Farm Skills are made available. Audio-Visuals and books are developed on modern farm practices and skills for optimal conversion of in-puts to achieve higher productivity.

2.       Timely Provision of Adequate Resources (Equipment & Supplies): All the in-puts are being made available to the farmers at the right time, in right quantity and quality through dedicated supply network. In this regards private sector linkages are established.

3.       Post Harvest Handling, Storage and Marketing: Processors of farm produce are engaged to buy back produce at a market price or on pre-set price, based on farmers choice to ensure best selling price to farmers. 

4.       Mechanism to finance Farming Operation: A consortium of banks is formed to provide farm credit to farmers on revolving basis.

Tractors is a productivity machine. Unfortunately, it is least poductive due to lack of operator training and availaibility of farm machinery. Every farmer needs it to improve and intensify cropping cycle. Exisiting tractor owners shall be well trained to adopt modern methods of cropping on their own field as well as acting as service providers to the farmers in the targetted villages. Farm machines shall be provided by Pedaver.

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