Key Discussion Themes

Natural Endowments and their Management

The province of Punjab has been endowed with immense resources. Its vast alluvial plains and water are its principal natural resources whereas the north western part of the province is abundant in mineral resources. It is considered as food basket for the entire region and feeding the burgeoning population of the country ensuring food security besides providing livelihood to the large number of poor families. The agriculture sector, including livestock, contributes about 24% of it GDP and employee nearly 43% of the labour force. It provides the basic raw material for the textile industry that is the major contributor to national exports. Punjab Growth Strategy 2018 also identifies that the agriculture sector is central to economic growth and development in Punjab as its contribution to national economy is overwhelming. The strategy envisioned enhancing growth in agriculture by facilitating productivity, increasing competitiveness in agriculture marketing and trade by providing a conducive climate for private investment, and improving supply chain and value addition.

The session two of the Punjab Economic Forum (PEF) on ‘Natural Endowments and its Management’ that will have two focus areas, namely agriculture and mines and minerals. The aim of this technical session is to provide a platform for debate on the crucial issues facing in these sectors such as productivity and marketing. Increased agricultural productivity and output contribute to overall economic growth in a number of ways that includes inter alia increasing income and foreign exchange earnings, shifting of surplus labour for industrial sector, rising net cash incomes of rural population and increased overall savings etc. The first guest speaker will shed light on various policy measures for enhancing the agricultural productivity exemplifying the best international practices in the region. The next speaker would highlight the output of agriculture extension services in the province and that of research institutes in Punjab. The session will also look into the broadening the scope for partnership in agricultural extension services and agricultural research in Punjab and other suitable suggestions for the growth of the sector.

The third guest speaker would highlight the opportunities available in mines and minerals sector in Punjab and suggest measures to improve production methods and processes for their industrial use and overall marketability and value addition. This session will reflect upon fiscal management required for incorporating natural resource management, as it constitutes the base for financing social and development programs.