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Pakistan relies on food and energy imports to meet its demand, although the country is a major producer and exporter of some agricultural products globally. Power shortages create a bottleneck for consumption and economic growth. Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, as frequent natural disasters already negatively impact farming and exacerbate water scarcity problems. The government is encouraging investment into mining in order to tap into the country’s natural resources.
Agriculture plays a vital role in the Pakistani economy, as the sector (including agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing) accounted for 20.4% of Gross Value Added (GVA) and absorbed 40.6% of total employed population in 2016. Pakistan is a global major producer of several crops, such as cotton, sugar cane and wheat. Nevertheless, Pakistan is a net food importer, as domestic production has not been enough to meet large and rising local demand. In 2016, imports of animals and animal products, vegetable products and foodstuffs made up 12.5% of total goods imported.
Demand for energy has been rising rapidly in Pakistan, amidst population and economic growth. In 2016, Pakistan was the seventh largest energy consumer in Asia Pacific. The country is a net energy importer, with imports of mineral fuels, oils and distillation products accounting for 22.8% of total goods imported in 2016. The population has low access to electricity, and a large share of households still uses biomass for cooking and heating.
Download the new report “Natural Resources: Pakistan” for further information about agriculture and energy as well as insights on water, pollution and mining of metals and minerals in Pakistan.