The agriculture sector is experiencing strong growth

It sees an overall increase of 6.25%; turns out to be a salvation for the ending financial year


According to the Finance Minister, the agricultural sector in Pakistan has witnessed significant growth in 2023-2024 with an overall growth of 6.25%, which has contributed significantly to the economy. The sector, which generates 24% of the country’s GDP, has proven to be a lifesaver for the ending financial year.

According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23 released on Tuesday, the crops sub-sector recorded a remarkable growth of 11.03%, a significant improvement over the previous year. In this sub-sector, important crops recorded significant growth of 16.82%, reflecting a solid economic recovery and significant production growth.

Other crops recorded a moderate growth of 0.90%, showing stability. A significant share came from fruits (8.40%), vegetables (5.77%) and legumes (1.45%). The cotton ginning sector recorded a dramatic growth of 47.23%, marking a huge rebound from previous declines and significantly strengthening the entire crop sub-sector.

In 2023-2024, cotton cultivation increased to 2.4 million hectares from 2.1 million hectares last year, an increase of 13.1%. However, its production recorded a remarkable increase of 108.2%, reaching 10.2 million bales. Cotton currently has a 0.7% share in GDP and 2.9% in agricultural value added.

However, in the case of sugar cane, the cultivated area decreased by 10.5%, from 1.3 million ha last year to 1.2 million ha this year. Its share in GDP is 0.8%, with 3.5% in the added value of agriculture. Production declined slightly by 0.4% to 87.6 million tonnes in 2023-24 from 88.0 million tonnes last year.

Rice emerged as a promising crop in 2023–2024, with its cultivated area increasing by 22.2% to 3.6 million hectares from 3.0 million hectares last year. Production increased by 34.8% to 9.9 million tonnes, up from 7.3 million tonnes. Rice accounts for 0.6% of GDP and 2.5% of agricultural value added.

Corn cultivation decreased by 4.5%, from 1.7 million ha last year to 1.6 million ha this year. Production fell by 10.4%, from 11.0 million tonnes last year to 9.8 million tonnes. Corn generates 0.7% of GDP and 2.9% of value added in agriculture.

Wheat, the staple crop, saw its cultivated area increase to 9.6 million hectares from 9.0 million hectares last year, an increase of 6.6%. Wheat production amounted to 31.4 million tons compared to 28.2 million tons last year, an increase of 11.6%. The government has retained the MSP at Rs 3,900/40 kg for 2023-24. Wheat has a 9.0% share in agriculture and 2.2% of GDP.

Animal breeding and other sectors

The animal husbandry sub-sector maintained steady growth, increasing by 3.89%, slightly higher than the previous year, indicating continued performance in animal production. Forestry growth slowed to 3.05% from 16.63% in the previous year, contributing significantly to overall agricultural growth.

Animal husbandry remains a cornerstone of Pakistan’s rural economy, engaging over eight million rural families and contributing significantly to their livelihoods. Livestock production accounts for approximately 35–40% of the total income of these families. The animal husbandry sector has established itself as a major agricultural growth engine, generating approximately 60.84% ​​of agricultural value addition and 14.63% of national GDP in FY2024.

The gross value added of the livestock sector increased to Rs 5,804 billion in 2023-24 from Rs 5,587 billion in 2022-23, a growth rate of 3.9%. Moreover, the sector’s net foreign exchange earnings account for approximately 1.6% of total exports.

Fishing also saw moderate growth of 0.81%, slightly higher than the previous year’s growth, indicating continued stability in the sector. Water availability in Kharif 2023 increased to 61.9 million acre feet (MAF) from 43.3 MAF in Kharif 2022, which meets the requirements of Kharif crops. For Rabi, water availability for 2023-2024 was recorded at 30.6 MAF, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same season last year