Agriculture constitutes the largest sector of our economy. Majority of the population, directly or indirectly, dependent on this sector. It contributes about 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for half of employed labor force and is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings. It feeds whole rural and urban population. Realizing its importance, planners and policy makers are always keen to have reliable area and production statistics of agricultural crops well in time. Policy makers primarily need accurate and timely statistics for the important crops such as wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, maize etc. However, in recent years, due to persistent hikes in the prices of essential commodities like pulses, onions, potatoes, chilies and tomatoes these crops have also gained in economic importance.
Methodology of Crop Estimate (in Punjab)
The 1st and 2nd Estimates of area sown under 12 major crops are arrived at through Sample Surveys undertaken by the Directorate of Crop Reporting Service, Punjab. The final estimates of area sown under all crops are based on complete enumeration (Girdawari) of all Mouzas carried out by Patwaris of Revenue Department twice a year. The information gathered by Patwaris is passed on by the Revenue Department to the Provincial Bureau of Statistics for preparation of computerized Jinswar statements. The acreage statistics included in the 1st and 2nd estimates are approved by the Secretary, Agriculture Department at his level. The final acreage estimates based on the Girdawari are approved by the Provincial Agriculture Statistics Coordination Board headed by the Chairman, Planning Board, Punjab.
Preliminary production estimates of 12 major crops are based on opinion survey undertaken by the Crop Reporting Service of Agriculture Department. These estimates are approved by Secretary, Agriculture Department. For final yield estimates, crop cutting surveys are conducted by the Crop Reporting Service for wheat, cotton and rice. Grower's Opinion survey are used for other crops. The final estimates of major crops are cleared by the Provincial Agriculture Statistics Coordination Board.