AJK household income derives largely from growing crops and raising livestock as well as remittances from oversees Pakistanis.
Last Updated: 23 Sep. 2015
The economy of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) relies heavily on agriculture and livestock as well as remittances. Industry and tourism, although viable options, are underdeveloped in this region.
More than 80% of households in AJK live on some type of farmland and nearly 40% of their income comes from growing crops and raising livestock. Major fruits and vegetables grown here include apples, apricots, pears, potatoes, turnips and spinach. Important crops include wheat, rice, and maize. The sale of eggs, milk and meat from the livestock also contributes to income. Despite this agricultural activity is still underproductive, and although official reports claim that productivity can increase, few steps have been take to remedy this problem.
Remittances play a large role in the economy because many Kashmiris have resettled elsewhere and send money back to their families. The construction of Mangla Dam forced many Kashmiris to resettle else where, and many chose to migrate. In fact, almost two-thirds of Pakistanis living in England are from AJK and majority of them are from Mirpur . A 2007 socioeconomic survey of AJK stated that more than 51% of AJK’s population was living abroad, and they sent back money anywhere between PKR 40,000 to 100,000 yearly to their families.
For industry to flourish, the easy movement of supplies and goods is critical. The geography of AJK is such that it has served more as a hindrance to the movement of supplies and goods and thus its industry is not very well-developed. Still, textile and paper mills can be found in AJK as well as a few medicine factories. Other industries include paper products, furniture warehouses, manufacturing arms, printing presses, and steel works.
AJK, with its high mountains and lush green valleys, is perfectly suited for tourism.
However, due to political instability and its nearness to the Line of Control this region has not been invested in. In addition, earthquakes, landslides and lack of infrastructure prevent tourists from fully accessing the area.