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Productivity growth and resource degradation in Pakistan's Punjab - a decomposition analysis

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  • Ali, Mubarik
  • Byerlee, Derek

Abstract

The introduction of green revolution technologies in wheat, and rice production in Asia, in the mid 1960s reversed the food crisis, and stimulated rapid agricultural, and economic growth. But the sustainability of this intensification strategy is being questioned, in light of the heavy use of external inputs, and growing evidence of a slowdown in productivity growth, and degradation of the resource base. The authors address the critical issue of long-term productivity, and the sustainability of Pakistan's irrigated agriculture. To estimate changes in total factor productivity in four production systems of Punjab province, they assemble district-level data on 33 crops, 8 livestock products, and 17 input categories. They find that average annual growth in total factor productivity was moderately high (1.26 percent) for both crops, and livestock for the period 1966-94, but observe wide variation in productivity growth by cropping system. A second, disaggregated data set on soil, and water quality reveals significant resource degradation. The authors use the two data sets to decompose the effects of technical change, and resource degradation through application of a cost function. They find that continuous, and widespread resource degradation (as measured by soil and water quality variables) has had a significant negative effect on productivity, especially in the wheat-rice system, where resource degradation has more than offset the productivity effects of technological change. Degradation of the health of the agro-ecosystem was related in part, to modern technologies, mono-cropping, and mismanagement of water resources. The results call for urgent analysis of technology, and options to arrest the degradation of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali, Mubarik & Byerlee, Derek, 2000. "Productivity growth and resource degradation in Pakistan's Punjab - a decomposition analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2480, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2480
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Faruquee, Rashid, 1995. "Government's role in Pakistan agriculture : major reforms are needed," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1468, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Kwansoo & Barham, Bradford L. & Coxhead, Ian, 2001. "Measuring soil quality dynamics: A role for economists, and implications for economic analysis," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 13-26, June.
    2. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Aravindakshan, Sreejith & Chowdhury, Apurba & Rudra, Bankim, 2012. "Farmer Access and Differential Impacts of Zero Tillage Technology in the Subsistence Wheat Farming Systems of West Bengal, India," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147204, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    3. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Veettil, Prakashan C., 2014. "Productivity and efficiency impacts of conservation tillage in northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 126-138.
    4. Byerlee, Derek R. & Murgai, Rinku, 2001. "Sense and sustainability revisited: the limits of total factor productivity measures of sustainable agricultural systems," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(3), December.
    5. World Bank, 2002. "Pakistan Development Policy Review : A New Dawn?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15425, The World Bank.
    6. Vijesh Krishna & Prakashan Veettil, 2015. "Productivity and Efficiency Impacts of Zero Tillage Wheat in Northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains," Working Papers id:7716, eSocialSciences.
    7. Tiongco, Marites & Dawe, David, 2002. "Long-term Evolution of Productivity in a Sample of Philippine Rice Farms: Implications for Sustainability and Future Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 891-898, May.

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