Socioeconomics and agronomy of wheat yield in cotton-wheat cropping system in Punjab, Pakistan: A quality-quantity assessment
Pakistan is the 8th largest wheat producer in the world. However, the country’s wheat productivity is not as impressive as that of China, India and Bangladesh. Punjab shares more than 70 percent of the country’s total area cultivated under wheat crop. Although the application of farm inputs in their optimal quantities translate into improved wheat yield, however the qualitative attributes of the agronomy applied to wheat production as well as the socioeconomic realities of the wheat growers also matter for better output. Keeping in view the role of wheat as a staple diet in Pakistan along with its strong backward and forward linkages with the industrial sector of the country, the study investigated the impact of socioeconomic and agronomic settings on wheat yield in wheat-cotton Punjab (Pakistan). District Bahawalnagar stands first regarding its share in the total acreage of agricultural land sown under wheat crop as well as its share in total wheat production in Punjab. By surveying the selected villages of the district, 120 wheat growers were contacted for the collection of data through a questionnaire. The information was recorded through face-to-face interviewing, while data was analyzed by using SPSS® version 20. Amongst the socioeconomic attributes, a farmer’s educational status as literate and landownership status as landless were observed to be positively related to the wheat yield. While amongst the agronomic practices, seed sowing through broadcast method, manual wheat harvesting, poor soil fertility, and the tube-well as the only mode of irrigation were negatively associated with the wheat grain yield. The study concludes that in the context of wheat-cotton Punjab, qualitative attributes of the wheat growers and that of agronomic practices matter in determining wheat yield. The study suggests the need for rural infrastructure (especially, human and irrigational) development in order to bridge the actual and potential yield gaps for wheat crop.
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DOI: 10.33687/ijae. 009.01.3527
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