Forced Urbanization a manmade disaster that price will be paid by next generations

Agriculture history of Subcontinent was based on 9000 BC due to its naturally high fertility index and unique double monsoon rain cycle that further led to harvest almost all kind of local and foreign crops. It is known that ancient people of region  practiced rainfall harvesting, a powerful technology that was brought to fruition by classical Indian civilization but nearly forgotten in the 20th century.In middle ages sophisticated networks of water and irrigation were developed to improve the quality of agriculture products which were then popularly demanded in the other parts of world due to high nutrients and medicated contents.In late middle ages (1200-1526)The construction of water works and aspects of water technology in Medieval India is found in both Arabic and Persian works . The diffusion of Indian and Persian irrigation technologies gave rise to an irrigation systems which brought about economic growth and growth of material culture. Agricultural ‘zones’ were broadly divided into those producing rice, wheat or millet.Along with major crops this area of earth had attractive repute of cultivatimg  finest fruits, precious nuts and dry fruits which were exported to euorope and North Africa too.Indian crops its spices and its fertile plans created attractions in the global market.It was said that it was greed of Indian spices and jewels that planned the foreign minds who were striving in harsh weathers for last many centuries planned  political and military intrusions in the subcontinent to take control of such food assets.

When Pakistan came into being with 70% inhabitants settled in Rural areas.Pakistan independence  movement was strongly backed by strong feudal characters of Punjab Sindh  Kpk etc .The feudal system was initially established in India by the Mughals however it were the British colonial rulers who expanded and systematized it on a large scale.  In a nutshell the landed aristocracy practiced executive, judicial and revenue duties for the colonial government in exchange for land grants and the right to rule the people.It  has had a number of large landholding families having typical feudal mindset neither interested in paying  tax on agricultural income  nor showed interest in setting high goals of Agriculture reforms  for giving support to  crippled economy of Pakistan but no doubt fully dominated and influenced national politics  for maintaining family control.Think tanks of Pakistan strongly believe that this feudalism and corrupt bureaucracy is the most important cause for our backwardness in implementing  rural development programs.

Most of Agriculture lands were provided to influential personals of subcontinent by British rulers for providing them services of obedience in political and agri-businesses matters so no concern was observed in feudal structure to contribute on national scale other than maintaining their family hierarchy .

Along with this pessimistic approach we had an exemp;ry legacy of Sir Ganga Ram who in one side developed a modern city of Lahore and in parallel he successfully developed upgraded agriculture reforms in infertile lands and turned it into green productive units still giving yields to new generation of this era.agri

Past 20 years of economic reforms has brought growth in  irrigation services and manufacturing sectors but contribution of  Agriculture in national has been coming down.During FY 2016, the performance of agriculture sector as a whole remained dismal as it  witnessed a negative growth of 0.19 percent against 2.53 percent growth during the same period last year.The growth of crops declined by 6.25 percent,while the other subcontinent of Agriculture sector like Livestock, Forestry and Fishing posted positive growth of 3.63 percent, 8.84 percent and 3.25 percent, respectively.

Pakistan has a vast natural resource base, which includes 22.04 million hectares of land under cultivation. Agriculture accounts for around 19.6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 42.3% of the population but the tragic part is still Pakistan does not have a formal ‘Agriculture Policy’ at the Federal level. Over the years, the Federal and Provincial governments have formulated and agreed upon goals, to try and improve the sector and raise the standard of living in country side but even no long term sustainable research program synchronized with local agricultural needs has been developed.

After reviewing the negative growth of agriculture based economy it is not difficult  to summarize the  consequential sequences which are also high indicators of forced urbanisation on highly fertile lands of Pakistan .These are

  1. Shrinking of green areas of Pakistan due to over migration of rural population  toward unplanned and poorly designed urban cities of Pakistan.
  2. Mushroom and unchecked growth of residential schemes due to high return rates on land business has totally diverged the public interests toward expansion of food producing areas of Pakistan.The tragic part is that no trend or data is being collected of transforming of cultivated land into urban business ventures along the main highways which is being done in faster rate in last 20 years.
  3. Pakistan has demonstrated extremely low irrigation efficiencies, creating problems related to water conservation andwaterlogging and salinity.That is why  crop yield in Pakistan is on the lower side. The current estimated irrigation efficiency in Pakistan is 35.5%. This means that only 35.5% of the water that reaches the fields is actually used by the crops.
  4. Recharging Ground water is never a priority for policy makers and big landlords nor Farmers are being  properly communicated  how to improve fertility level of land with shortages of water .On the other side  no check and balance on industrial wastes are  polluting  river waters  and when  these pollutants enter ground water system they impact agriculture output also.
  5. Negligence in  construction of new water reservoirs  due to political instability and absences of enough funding for such huge projects are clear indicators that now our priority is not agricultural growth as fertile giant


Restoration of Green culture and Ceasing process of Forced Urbanization

We have to accept whole heartily  that our next generations are succumbing to the pollution, congestion, and the social tensions linked to rapid but abnormal urban development .Absence of strong agricultural environment is producing catastrophic effects i,e deforestation, environmental changes, extinction of local organic species etc,This undisguised Urbanization  is reshaping the demographics and economies of inhabitants. Urban glittery attractions are forcing people to move to the major cities, leaving the rural areas empty without any prospects for the future.The government policies usually evolve in focusing its investment only around cities. Even the small resources spent on villages are lost in microeconomics  and not the macro economy of the village as a whole. While the government invests in the macro economy of cities it is at the microeconomics level in rural areas. Most of the employment in rural areas is agricultural or dependent on agriculture. This often tends to be seasonal and therefore unreliable.Village houses are unsalable, and  culture and traditions of rural communities slowly dying out, leaving behind only the oldsters and the outcasts. In parallel lack of investment plans and  technical  opportunities pushing people to come to real state business which ultimately  exploding  prices for housing  in the cities, forcing people to work longer and longer hours in order to make a decent living.

Growing As Agrarian Giant.

Stressful ways of working even living with modern technologies  and the harshness of urban life styles  in dense traffic jams, power failures, polluted environment,clean water scarcity , weak law and order situation of  mega-city life  are  forcing people to start thinking of  returning to the open skies and the quiet life of the countryside again

In view of our glorifying past history of agriculture we should start raising voices against unplanned urbanization  destroying the beauty of rural lives of citizens.Along with this strong platform of Agricultural institutes local landlords and national ventures and our related universities should be made active for creating  a unanimous verdict for govt higher offices .Turkey and India like models can be followed where Governments are take controls of local cultivation.They maintained a highly controlled regime for core crops, controlling prices of more than 24 crops and imposed high tariff rates to support the farming sector. Since the beginning  of journey of development in 1950s they have  been focused towards food security for their citizens. They subsidies, diversification and price support have led to price corrections and most of these crops are now competing for export demand.  In this era their food chains  are well managed and controlled by Government level instead of   handing over to one direction mindset of  cooperate sectors which is profit and profit at all cost. recommendations  in favor or ruralization are based on such points .

  1.  The government as a long term measure should promote economic prospects and required infrastructure development in rural areas. It should also cover the creation of market for supporting the agricultural economic activities and also development of sustainable agricultural practices in the rural sector. The bureaucracy  should focus to start allocating substantial resources for developing villages
  2.  For the villagers to overcome poverty, villages should provide economic opportunities throughout the year other than in the agricultural areas i,e in food processing factories, model farms
  3. A large percentage of the rural population should be able to make decent living through non-agricultural occupations. The government strategy and investment should be directed towards this goal. Small scale industries that can be linked with agricultural operations spread over rural areas and smaller towns nearby may be the answer.
  4. Villagers from rural areas should find that it is possible to make affordable life styles  without migrating to big cities. The false lure of the cities as an attractive place for better living should be removed by making living in villages in modern styles.
  5. The government as a long term measure should promote economic prospects and required infrastructure development in rural areas. It should also cover the creation of market for supporting the agricultural economic activities and also development of sustainable agricultural practices in the rural sector.
  6. Rural poverty and high fertility are closely linked. Overpopulation without resources yield unproductive  manpower  .Undeveloped program can be successful only if the underprivileged population growth is curbed.  The limited health services, the negligible primary education facilities, sparse housing are further strained keeping the poor always in poverty. Economic growth would be seriously hampered if the population growth is not checked. . Population control is the immediate imperative with two child norm and sterilization through incentives and brainwashing techniques by utilizing the influence of local clerics.


About Nazia
I am in search of facts and truth.

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