- In olden days, small communities were self-sufficient.
- With the growth of towns, food had to be got from country districts.
- The wants of men are becoming more and more complex.
- International trade has assumed great proportions.
In early times, men lived very simply. Let us not trouble about the jungle-man period, he who ate from the tree. When man turned to agriculture or pastoral pursuits, a family could support itself if it had a little land and a cow. A few chickens and goats turned self-subsistence into comfort. In a number of country areas, people are still very near to this simple life.
The problem became more difficult with the growth of large towns and cities. The town-dweller could not grow food for his family, but had to get it from the country people. He had to be able to give them something in return. In the beginning, it was simple barter or exchange of one commodity for another. A man would bring to the town his harvest of wheat or rice, some fruit, fowls, and the like. He might carry back in exchange seeds, simple tools for his work, oil for his lamp, cloth, a blanket, a host of other things that the craftsmen were producing in the town. Gradually direct barter came to an end as some form of money was evolved, and many of the old-time coins or substitutes for coins were very primitive affairs.
With the advance of civilization, man’s needs become ever greater, and the simple economy of our forefathers has been replaced by a luxurious style of living. The Englishman of four hundred years age knew nothing of sugar, tea, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, silk, rice, oranges and lemons. Now they are.regarded as indispensable to his life. England became in a short revolution an industrial country, waking cloth out of raw cotton and wool, making all kinds of machinery and finished goods of iron and steel. This led to wealth, and since coins do not change hands in the trade between nations, England’s imports of those luxuries are part payment for her industrial products.
This works very well as long as other countries remain inactive and undeveloped, and are content to send their raw materials to an active manufacturing country and get back the finished product in return. But two wars have shown how precarious it is to depend entirely on imported food. Britain depends on large imports of meat, butter and eggs, wheat and other cereals. When the seas are menaced by submarines and bombing planes, this is a precarious means of living.
The industrial revolution in Pakistan has been moving slowly but surely. Instead of being content to supply the industrial west with raw materials, Pakistan has entered into competition with manufacturing nations. Factories are springing up around Lyallpur and Multan, and we are becoming largely self-supporting. But our domestic needs are so great that it is not likely that Pakistan will become an exporting country in the near future. The profit of our expanding industires must be for some time to come extended in feeding, clothing and educating our ever-growing population. The end 7. of the Five-year Plans must be a higher standard of living for the masses, otherwise all will have been in vain tea and coffee, silk and jute we can export to some extent, but there must always be a large part of Pakistan’s energies devoted to agriculture and the breeding of cattle and sheep. Our mineral and agricultural resources are fairly vast, now they are being properly surveyed and developed. Now the age-old apathy and indifference, of which this sub-continent has often been accused, have gone, and the wheels of progress are turning. This is not a momentary spurt, but a true renaissance.