Small farmers are optimally utilising their resources | Pakistan Today

Small farmers are optimally utilising their resources

Rice and wheat farmers in Punjab can easily reduce their input cost by 25 per cent – without compromising the output level – by improving technical and scale efficiency. They may not require any high-tech technology upgrade for achieving higher level of productivity, a recently conducted research suggests.
The study underlines that small farmers in Punjab are technically more efficient than medium and large farmers. It points out that small farmers in the traditional agriculture settings are efficient in their resource allocation behaviour, given their operating circumstances. The research published by the Punjab Directorate of Agriculture Information indicates that gains from improving technical efficiency exist for all categories of farms in rice-wheat system in Punjab. If sample farms operate at full efficiency level, on average, they could reduce their input use by 25 per cent without reducing the level of output and with same technology.
It finds out that majority of small farms (83 per cent) have increasing returns. Small farmers are fairly efficient in utilising their resources and any expansion in the use of resources would bring more than proportionate increase in the output.
Study point outs that there are five farming systems in Punjab including cotton-wheat, rice-wheat, mixed crops, pulses-wheat and maize / wheat oilseed. It believes that rice-wheat is the most significant farming system as total area under rice-wheat cultivation is around 2.8 million hectares, which represents 18 per cent of total agricultural area of Punjab. Rice-wheat cropping pattern is one of the widely practiced cropping system in Pakistan as rice in kharif season is followed by wheat in rabi season covers about 4.25 million hectares, of which about 66 per cent area is concentrated in Punjab.
Research recommends the government and policymakers should design special programmes for supporting small farmers. In addition, research efforts directed towards the generation of new technology, especially for small farmers, should be encouraged.
The study was conducted in two major rice and wheat producing districts of Punjab, Gujranwala and Hafiz Abad. In Gujranwala, research estimates that there are total 86,530 farms covering an area of around 0.681 million acres with an average size of 7.7 acres. Share of wheat and rice in total cropped area of the district is 42 and 43 per cent, respectively. Share of rice in total kharif cropped area of the district is 87 per cent, while share of wheat in total rabi cropped area is 83 per cent.
Similarly, in Hafizabad, total numbers of farms are 39,875 with an average size of 9.1 acres. Total farm area of the district is around 0.364 million acres of which cultivated area is 0.347 million acres. Share of rice in total kharif cropped area of the district is 78 per cent, while share of wheat in total rabi cropped area of the district is 81 per cent.



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