Five per cent bigwigs possess 64 per cent of Pakistan’s farmland while 50.8 percent rural households are landless.
This was stated at a workshop on ‘Status of land reforms in Pakistan’ organized by the Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE) in collaboration with the Sindh High Court Bar Association and National Peasants Coalition of Pakistan in a hotel on October 9. Justice Faisal Arab, senior puisne judge of Sindh High Court, lawyers and farmer leaders attended the programme.
Speaking at the workshop, SCOPE chief executive officer Tanveer Arif said that agriculture was the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy, accounting for 25% of the gross domestic product, 60% of export earnings and 48% of employment. He said poverty and food security issues were closely linked to land, therefore, land and agriculture reforms should be made in the country.
He said Pakistan inherited feudal system from the British Raj. Land distribution in Pakistan was highly unequal as 5% of large landholders possess 64% of the total farmland and 65% small farmers held 15% of land. He said corporate farming was initiated in Pakistan during former President Pervez Musharraf’s government which was against the rights of farmers. Some Gulf countries had purchased lands in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan, that would cause water scarcity and deprive local farming community of their rights.
Mr Arif said 50.8% of rural households were landless while the poverty among rural landless people was high. He said land reforms were necessary to alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition in Pakistan. The farmers in rural areas were living under extreme poverty due to unjust crop share being given to them by landlords. The...