Asset 1

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Published Date: Jul 15, 1998

Sustainable Cotton Production, Trade and Environmental Impact: Policy Issues and Options for Pakistan (W-35)

Shahid Zia, Chaudhry Inayatullah, Mehreen Samee, Tahir Hasnain, SDPI


Pakistan’s economy has undergone considerable diversification over time, yet the agriculture sector is still its backbone.  With its present contribution to GDP at 23.87%, agriculture accounts for half of the total employed labour force. It also serves as a base sector for the country’s major industries, like textile and sugar.  The agriculture sector showed a positive growth of 5.27% during 1995-96.  The growth would have been much higher, had major crops like cotton and wheat not experienced a setback (Finance Division, 1996).

Cotton is the most important cash crop cultivated in Pakistan. It is, hence, the main source of our foreign exchange earnings — roughly 62% of the total foreign exchange earnings from major exports are attributed to cotton and its made-ups.  Its contribution to value added by major crops is 28%. In addition to the labour force engaged in cotton cultivation, the textile industry provides employment to 40% of industrial labour. Furthermore, cotton seed is the major source of edible oil, accounting for 60% of total edible oil consumption.
f total edible oil consumption.