There is no denying the fact that Pakistan is an agrarian economy. Since more than 20 percent share in the national GDP comes from the agrarian sector, the precedence must have been given to this sector long ago. However, it is never too late. Agrarian sector plays a crucial role in exports of myriads of products which earn foreign exchange for the rickety economy of Pakistan. There are ample instances in the world where agrarian sector was given preference even in the most developed economies of the world, which brought about more prosperity and food security.
Pakistan imports sugar, wheat, tomatoes, onions etc at the expense of the impoverished farmers. Farm mechanization has revolutionized the agrarian sectors of numerous countries such as the USA, France, Brazil, to name a few. Farm mechanization is still a far-fetched idea in Pakistan, a country of around 222 million. With burgeoning population, Pakistan might face at some point in the not-too-distant-future the conundrums of food insecurity. The agrarian sector does not seem geared up for the food security, to be precise. The nation has gone through the anguish of sky-high prices of wheat flour and sugar, let alone the prices of vegetables which have made headlines in the local media recently. Plenty of questions remain unanswered and might remain unanswered in the decades to come.
Farmers in this age of farm mechanization are using a hand sickle even today in Pakistan. On the contrary, the world is benefiting from the automatic wire binder, the threshing machine, the reaper-thresher, mechanical planters, cutters, huskers, manure spreaders, potato planters, hay driers etc. Even the numbers of tractors are few and far between. The farming community must be encouraged and must be given opportunities to buy tractors, which to great extent bring about tremendous spike in the farm output.
The tractor market is growing globally, however, the highest number of tractors sold in a particular year are less than 60,000 in Pakistan whose more than 60% population is reliant on agriculture directly and indirectly. One could have a glimpse of tractor brands such as New Holland by Al Ghazi Tractors Ltd, Massey Ferguson by Millat Tractors Ltd, Bull Power (previously IMT) Tractors, Belarus Tractors, Ursus by Farm All Technology Pvt Ltd, Euro Ford Tractors, John Deere etc. The use and demand of tractors are soaring in the entire world. The global tractor market is projected to produce over 2.8 thousand units by 2023. The manufacturers from across the world i.e. Mexico (US$9.8 billion), Germany ($8.7 billion), Netherlands ($6.4 billion),United States ($6 billion), France ($3.6 billion), Belgium ($3 billion) etc. are earning billions of dollars through exports based on the growing need of the product almost everywhere in the world. Use of tractors for agrarian output is remarkably high in Slovenia, Andorra, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, to be precise. In the wake of the demand from numerous countries for the better output and food security, the global Farm Tractors market is projected to reach US$93.7 billion by 2025.
Farm mechanization globally is widespread by virtue of increase in land productivity, labor shortages, efficient use of expensive inputs etc. It is a fact that the USA, the world’s largest economy with the nominal GDP of over $20 trillion initiated agriculture revolution way back in the 19th century having the foresight. Between 1860 and 1910, the number of farms in the United States tripled from 2 million to 6 million. The agrarian revolution has made the USA one of the leading exporters of the agrarian products.
Prices and the affordability of tractors in Pakistan is a primary glitch. Millions of small farmers, let alone big farmers, can’t imagine owning a tractor. The steps taken to enhance the agriculture loan for the farmers must result in buying tractors etc. which would lead to higher yield etc.
As per the official figures in Pakistan, the annual sales of tractors in 2019 was 41,000 units which calls for some crucial decisions for progressive farming to benefit the nation in the long run. The recent decision by the Government of Pakistan regarding the tractor subsidy of Rs 1.5 billion for tractors manufactured in Pakistan is a refreshing news for the farming community. The more the sale of the tractors the better the yield of the crop. Mechanization of the agrarian sector is the only way to be self-sufficient and to ensure food security in the future.