Comments on: Opposition mounts to Pakistani farmland sale plan Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: optimistby Sat, 02 Jan 2010 06:16:17 +0000 anybody who wants to buy or lease land in pakistan should take pakistani farmers to their country.make them citizens of that country, give them 100 acre land per person. I am sure pakistani farmers will change a desert in to a productive farm land.Because they are hard working and smart people.I think Soudis know it can be done with new farming methods.But they prefer to use pakistani land and labour. So that they don’t have to allow foreigners into their Holy Land .Great Muslim brothers.

By: Fareeha qayoom Sat, 26 Sep 2009 06:49:50 +0000 When the govern ment officials, public institutions and state-owned assets are all for sale, what’s six million acres of farm land between friends? Is this a wise move? Find out…

By: Nikhil Mon, 21 Sep 2009 23:40:09 +0000 India should tie up with the Saudi companies which are buying large tracts of land in Pakistan for private farming. Needless to say, India knows more about agri-business in South Asia than the Saudis. India can use such alliances to reserve share of crops for feeding its citizens in the future.

By: Riaz Haq Sat, 19 Sep 2009 03:58:46 +0000 The train is leaving the station. What should be done, if the leasing of Pakistan’s fertile farm land to foreigners is fait accompli? Can we stop it? I doubt it. So what’s the next best thing?

What I am proposing on my blog is as follows: “Pakistan faces potentially severe food and water shortages in satisfying the needs of its growing population. Significant investments are urgently required to avert potential famines and droughts. The best course of action now is to try and pressurize Pakistan’s leadership and negotiating team to proceed cautiously and craft the best possible terms for a few pilot deals they can to ensure Pakistanis’ food security and looking after Pakistan’s best long term interests, while offering reasonably attractive returns to investors.”

Read more at: -farmland-controversey.html

By: Global Watcher Thu, 17 Sep 2009 03:50:00 +0000 “All in all not a bad idea, there are always critics and supporters of such ideas. That is why the parliament is there, the government should openly debate the issue.”

–>Umair is sounding more and more these days like a democratic secular and plural type of man. Have you changed your point of view and realized the error of your ways?

By: Umair Thu, 17 Sep 2009 02:23:11 +0000 Pakistan largely is a feudal state, where most of the agricultural land is owned by a handful of people. Most rural people are either tenant farmers or farm workers. The landowners have great influence over the peasents. This feudalism will only end by FDI(Foreign Direct Investment) in real-estate and agriculture sector.

True reforms must come and displace the entrenched ruling-elite structure to progressively displace it. The government should disempower the zamindar elite of feudal-land holders who arrogantly resist new ideas. This will make the wealth distribution more equal. The economic oppression will end if oil ricj Gulf nations invest and lease land, modern farming methods are employed, water sources are diversified. There will be job creation and workforce will be trained.

Similarly opening the door to China for exploration of minerals, oil and gas and coal in Baluchistan, developing Gwadar port and utilizing it to create trade routes and capitalizing on the proximity of Pakistan with Iran and CIS states(Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan etc) will create new opportunities in energy sector.

All in all not a bad idea, there are always critics and supporters of such ideas. That is why the parliament is there, the government should openly debate the issue.

By: Nikhil Wed, 16 Sep 2009 18:13:23 +0000 As a counterpoint, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. How allocating land for private farming is different than creating special economic zones (SEZ’s) witnessed in China or India? The govt of Pakistan can lease, not sell, the agricultural land to calm the political opponents. Saudi farming, in my view, in Pakistan ‘may work’ for some reasons as follows,

1) In the absence of genuine land reforms in Pakistan, small farmers are in a minority; which means less subsistence farming as witnessed in India. It also means fewer hassles to buy large tracts of land. Corporations prefer access to large tracts of farm land which can be contracted or bought from few rich landlords.

2) I doubt landlords in Pakistan, many of whom are feudal, are keen in improving productivity of their farm land. Or, they’re benevolent enough to care for their farm workers. Private farming may help address productivity and worker-rights if special clauses are added in the contract of corporations.

3) Pakistan has deep balance of payment troubles for decades now. It looks that Pakistan is trying to revive its argi-business in return for some Saudi cash which will go in to government coffers. It may help them to get rid of the life-support of foreign aid.
4) Pakistan is privatizing its agriculture with the Arabs; not the Americans or the British. In case of backlash, the government of Pakistan, like the ones before it, can seek refuge in guise of Islamic brotherhood. It’s easy to convince the poor that one Islamic country, Saudi Arabia, cannot dupe another Islamic republic, Pakistan.

There are always risks in privatization of farmland; most of them are usually political. But, I don’t think Pakistan has many good choices in foreseeable future.

By: Riaz Haq Wed, 16 Sep 2009 16:39:38 +0000 According to FAO data reported by, among spring wheat growing countries Egypt has the highest yield, producing 5422 kg. of grain per hectare and Indian Punjab produces 4090 kg versus 2500 Kg per hectare in Pakistan.

So higher investment and proper techniques can double the per hectare wheat yield in Pakistan, feeding Pakistanis well and enough to satisfy Saudi needs.

By: Riaz Haq Wed, 16 Sep 2009 16:14:49 +0000 Most of the farm land in Pakistan is held by feudal landowners who use sharecroppers to till the land.

As a result of Pakistan’s feudal landowning system, not only are the landholdings in Pakistan much larger than almost all of its neighbors (avg farm is Pakistan is about 10 acres vs only 4.5 acres in India), but the productivity and crop yield have been neglected by absentee feudals who are more interested in politics and ruling the nation in the name of democracy.

Pakistan is already the most urbanized nation in South Asia, and as the urbanization process accelerates, the farming techniques and productivity needs to go up significantly to feed the growing population with fewer farmers. Foreign investors are likely to bring modernization to Pakistani farms, as long as the leases are written up to ensure much higher farm productivity and the first right of refusal to the harvest by Pakistan.

A carefully crafted lease arrangement with foreign investors can accomplish the following:

1. Move Pakistan from the traditional feudal society to an industrial society with modern agribusiness capable of feeding its population and exporting surplus.

2.Increase productivity and improve Pakistan’s food security.

3. Increase Pakistan’s economic prosperity and decrease dependence on food imports.

By: singh Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:38:22 +0000 Its very shameful for a country to sell huge farmlands to other countries while there own people are getting killed in stampedes for free food.

Only thing Pakistan grows beside terrorists is food, and they are giving farmlands to Saudis, what the big idea behind it ??