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The constraints on agricultural productivity include soil degradation (soil salinity, erosion and soil fertility depletion), depletion of water resources, mismanagement of irrigation systems, the distribution of the land holdings and poor farming practices. The use of farm inputs, particularly of fertilizers, is inadequate and inefficient. Farm energy use is low. The availability of quality seed is limited and the use of fertilizers is imbalanced.

Agricultural research is lagging behind the new challenges. Agricultural extension services are not tuned to modern technology. The flow of information from research to farmers is inadequate. Coordination between policy, research, extension and farmers could be improved. Disbursement of agricultural credit amounts to over Rs.50 billion per annum, but is less than the requirements and is not reaching small farmers. An inadequate marketing infrastructure results in high marketing costs and losses.

Expansion of domestic fertilizer production, particularly of phosphate and NPK compounds is not envisaged in the near future. In consequence, imbalances in the nutrient ratios may continue. Micronutrient deficiencies are affecting yields in many parts of country. The fertilizer recommendations are too general. Soil testing laboratories are not adequately equipped in terms of manpower and equipment.

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