Pakistan Among World's Largest Food Producing Countries

Pakistan's agriculture output is the 10th largest in the world. The country produces large and growing quantities of cereals, meat, milk, fruits and vegetables. Currently, Pakistan produces about 38 million tons of cereals (mainly wheat, rice and corn), 17 million tons of fruits and vegetables, 70 million tons of sugarcane, 60 million tons of milk and 4.5 million tons of meat.  Total value of the nation's agricultural output exceeds $50 billion.  Improving agriculture inputs and modernizing value chains can help the farm sector become much more productive to serve both domestic and export markets.  

Top 10 Countries by Agriculture Output. Source: FAO

Pakistan has about 36 million hectares of land under cultivation. Wheat and rice are grown on more than half of it. Fruits and vegetables each account for only about 3% of the cultivable land.  Since year 2001, the country's cereal production, mainly wheat, corn and rice, has grown about 45% to 38 million tons. Pakistan produced 6.64 million tons of vegetables and 5.89 million tons of fruits in 2001. 

Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest exporter of rice. The country's domestic production is estimated to surge 13.6% to an all-time high of 8.4 million tons in the year end June 2021, according to Bloomberg.  

Vegetable production rose to about 10 million tons and fruit production increased to nearly 7 million tons in 2015.  A little over 60% of Pakistan's agriculture consists of livestock. Pakistan produces 60 million tons of milk and 4.5 million tons of meat.  Fish production adds up to about 575,000 tons. 

Pakistan's Rising Rice Exports. Source: Bloomberg

Share of Land For Various Crops in Pakistan

Crop yields in Pakistan are low, mainly due to poor quality inputs like seeds. In addition to fertilizer and water, seed is the basic input for agriculture sector and has a major role in enhancing agriculture productivity. This needs to be a key area of focus for Pakistani policymakers working on agriculture. 

Other critical area is post-harvest handling, particularly storage and transportation that is in desperate need of improvement. Post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables due to mishandling of the perishable product, poor transportation, and inadequate storage facilities and market infrastructure account for about 30%–40% of total production, according to experts at Asian Development Bank.  

World's 5th Largest Population of Chicken in Pakistan 

Improvements in agriculture inputs and modernization of post-harvest process require significant financing and investment. Growers get only a small fraction of value of what they produce, making it difficult for them to make these investments. Middlemen finance farmers and take the lion's share of profits in the value chain.  

Source: FAO via Kleffmann Group

Most of the farmers sell their produce to wholesalers via middlemen called arthis, according to an ADB report. Farmers contract out fruit orchards during the flowering stage to the middlemen (arthis), commission agent, and/or wholesalers who provide loans to the farmers over the course of production. Vegetables and fruits are transported by the same cart or truck from farms to the main markets in the absence of specialized vehicles for specific products. The same vehicle is used for many other purposes including animal transportation. Recently however, reefer (refrigerated) trucks have been introduced on a limited scale in some parts of Pakistan. In the absence of direct access of carrier vehicles to the farms, farmers gather their products in a convenient spot along the roadside for pickup. When middlemen or contractors are involved, it is their responsibility to collect and transport the produce. The unsold produce in one market is sent to other markets in the same locality. 

Date Palms in Sindh, Pakistan. Photo: Emmanuel Guddu

Investments in modernization of the agriculture production process and farm-to-market value chain will require major reforms to ensure growers get a bigger share of the value. The extraordinary power of the middlemen (arthis) as financiers needs to be regulated. This can not happen without legislation in close consultation with the growers. Improving agriculture inputs and modernizing value chains can help raise the productivity of the farm sector for it to serve both domestic and export markets better.  

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Chicken Cheaper Than Daal

Meat Industry in Pakistan

Bumper Crops and Soaring Tractor Sales in Pakistan

Meat and Dairy Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistanis Are Among the Most Carnivorous

Eid ul Azha: Multi-Billion Dollar Urban-to-Rural Transfer

Pakistan's Rural Economy

Pakistan Leads South Asia in Agriculture Value Addition

Median Incomes in India and Pakistan


Riaz Haq said…
Purdy, Chase. Billion Dollar Burger (pp. 5-6). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

It was surreal but deeply compelling. As I would find out over the course of the following year, that pasty clump of cells spread over toast represented something much bigger and more globally significant: a preface to a growing food movement that’s seeking to provide an ethical solution to the many unethical problems of the modern food system. By harvesting animal cells and quite literally growing them into fat and muscle tissue inside industrial bioreactors, humans have figured out how to create the exact same meats we’ve eaten for more than half a million years. In doing so, those scientists hope to enable us to sidestep the need to slaughter billions of animals annually, and theoretically, in time, eliminate the need for an industrial farming system that pumps an alarming amount of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s warming atmosphere each year. Scientists agree that animal agriculture is responsible for about 14 percent of greenhouse greenhouse gas emissions. Fully wrapping our heads around the impact of the animal agriculture system we’ve always known is mind-bogglingly difficult. Lots of scientists attempt to measure the full environmental footprint of animal agriculture, and almost all of them have run into fierce sets of critics who challenge their methodologies and motives. Did the scientist measure the life cycle of a single animal and then multiply those data to represent its specific sector? Did they include data on the energy used to grow, manage, and transport the feed grain for cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals? How about factoring in deforestation to make room for grazing? Or the long impact of water pollution from nitrous oxide in manure?
Riaz Haq said…
What Is The Future Of Meat?

More and more people are trying meat alternatives, and for good reason: The meat industry is a major contributor to climate change. Almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, with cattle making up about two-thirds of that. Others avoid meat because of ethical problems with slaughtering animals.

Altogether, plant-based meats are having a major moment, making their way onto the shelves of major grocery stores, and the menus of fast food chains. It’s now possible to eat a burger that tastes, looks, and feels like beef—while being entirely made of plants.

Some scientists are devoting their careers to creating a future where more meat comes from plants, or even cells grown in a lab. Joining Ira to mull over the future of meat is Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods, and Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest, a non-profit that promotes the research and development of cell-based animal products.
Nadeem M. said…
Sir last months prices.. Tomatoes Rs 200 per kg.. Potatoes Rs 70 per Kg.. no benefit to the Nation..
Riaz Haq said…
Nadeem: "Sir last months prices.. Tomatoes Rs 200 per kg.. Potatoes Rs 70 per Kg.. no benefit to the Nation.."

#Pakistan's farm-to-market system is controlled by powerful arthis (middlemen) who finance, transport and distribute all #produce (#fruits, #veggies). Reform needed to incentivize growers by assuring a bigger share in the #value chain.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is Asia's #2 Dairy Milk Producer , 2020

From 2009 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume in India totaled +5.4%. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following average annual rates of consumption growth: Pakistan (+3.2% per year) and China (-1.2% per year).

In value terms, India ($146.8B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Pakistan ($37.3B). It was followed by China.

The countries with the highest levels of whole fresh milk per capita consumption in 2019 were Uzbekistan (339 kg per person), Turkey (281 kg per person), and Pakistan (231 kg per person).

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Uzbekistan, while whole fresh milk per capita consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Market Forecast 2020-2030
Driven by increasing demand for whole fresh milk in Asia, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to decelerate, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.4% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 477M tonnes by the end of 2030.

According to FAO projections, Asian production is expected to increase by 2% in 2020 due to expected growth in India, Pakistan, and China, while Turkey may experience a decline. India, the world’s largest milk producer, is projected to increase production by 2.6 percent, or 5 million tonnes. The increase expected this year reflects the efforts of the vast network of rural cooperatives that have been mobilized to maintain milk collection despite the pandemic lockdown. Given the loss of sales in the foodservice industry due to the COVID-19 lockdown, large volumes of milk were sent for processing to drying plants, which were reported to operate at almost full capacity.

Pakistan’s milk production is projected to increase by an average of 3% due to an increase in the herd population.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan can significantly ramp up agriculture yields and supply.

Unfortunately, Pakistan's farm-to-market system is controlled by powerful arthis (middlemen) who finance, store, transport and distribute all #produce (#fruits, #veggies). Reform is needed to incentivize growers by assuring a bigger share in the #value chain.
Riaz Haq said…
Parliamentary panel stresses focus on agriculture under CPEC - Profit by Pakistan Today

The committee further recommended the government to capitalize on opportunities available in China’s meat market, as the China imports meat worth $48 billion from other countries. It called for measures to meet international food standards and initiate negotiations with China to remove anomalies in this regard.

Earlier, the committee was briefed by National Food Security and Research Secretary Ghufran Memon and PARC Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan on the existing projects in the agriculture sector.

Dr Azeem, while sharing 10-year development targets under CPEC, informed the committee that PARC’s aim is to make Pakistan a cotton exporting country, thereby helping it save foreign exchange worth $1.5 billion.

“Besides renovation of existing orchards, introduction of new varieties, reduction in post-harvest losses, improvement in value chain and development of rural industries are major proposed interventions.”

Meanwhile, the committee members also paid a visit to the exhibition at National Agriculture Research Centre where a comprehensive briefing was given on agro-tech, aquaculture and fisheries programme, honeybee research institute, alternative energy use in agriculture and vegetable and fruit crops cultivation processes.

The committee members remarked that farmers are the major stakeholders of the agriculture sector, and it is a matter of concern that seeds of various crops are not being provided to farmers on time.

They called for removal of bottlenecks to ensure fair and timely distribution of crops seeds to the farmers.

Riaz Haq said…
Advances in farming technology and intensification of animal agriculture increase the cost-efficiency and production volume of meat. Thus, in developed nations, meat is relatively inexpensive and accessible. While beneficial for consumer satisfaction, intensive meat production inflicts negative externalities on public health, the environment and animal welfare. In response, groups within academia and industry are working to improve the sensory characteristics of plant-based meat and pursuing nascent approaches through cellular agriculture methodology (i.e., cell-based meat). Here we detail the benefits and challenges of plant-based and cell-based meat alternatives with regard to production efficiency, product characteristics and impact categories.

Global production and consumption of meat continue to surge as demand is driven upward by population growth, individual economic gain, and urbanization1,2. In 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations projected the global demand for meat would reach 455 M metric tons by 2050 (a 76% increase from 2005)3. Likewise, the global demand for fish is projected to reach 140 M metric tons by 20504. The majority of this incline is attributed to middle-income countries (e.g., China), as consumption in higher-income countries is relatively stagnant or marginally decreasing (e.g., United Kingdom) and in lower-income countries, the rate of consumption is fairly constant (e.g., India)1. This pattern is consistent with a proposed theory that the relationship between meat consumption and income follows an “inverted U-shaped” trend; consumption initially increases with rises in income but eventually reaches a turning point at which consumption stagnates or declines5. This observation may be rationalized by correlations between high income and increased concern for the consequences of animal agriculture5.

This rising demand is problematic as current methods of large-scale animal husbandry are linked to public health complications, environmental degradation and animal welfare concerns. With regard to human health, the animal agriculture industry is interconnected with foodborne illness, diet-related disease, antibiotic resistance, and infectious disease6,7. Notably, zoonotic diseases (e.g., Nipah virus, influenza A) are linked to agricultural intensification and meatpacking plants in the United States were hotspots for COVID-19 outbreaks7,8. Animal agriculture also contributes to environmental issues including greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water use1. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a 2018 report asserting that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced 45% by 2030 to prevent global temperatures from increasing 1.5 °C; a target that could mitigate catastrophes associated with a 2.0 °C increase9. Conventional mitigation techniques include improvements in reforestation, soil conservation, waste management as well as tax policy, subsidies, and zoning regulations10. While these strategies remain important, the urgency of climate change may require more transformative approaches. Lastly, with regard to animal welfare concerns, each year billions of animals are killed or suffer either directly (e.g., farm animal slaughter, seafood fishing) or indirectly (e.g., fishing by-catch, wildlife decline due to habitat destruction) in relation to human food systems11,12.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is one of the few countries of the world, where a variety of fruits are grown in cool temperate climate such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, and those grown in the warm temperate climate are apricots, figs, grapes, pomegranates, melons and the rest in the tropical and sub-tropical climate like bananas, mangoes, dates, guava and citrus fruits, which are available throughout the year. Statistics 2015-16.pdf

While the fruits grown in temperate climate are produced in Baluchistan and NWFP, tropical and subtropical fruits are mostly grown in Punjab and Sindh. The various varieties of fruits are grown over an area of about 8.04 million hectors. The annual production of fruits in Pakistan is estimated at around 6.57 million tonnes, of which only 674 thousand tones were exported in 2015-16. In 2015-16 overall fruit export has witnessed a steady growth. More than 29 types of fruits and 33 types of vegetables are produced in the country throughout the year. The highest production have reached i.e Citrus fruit & Mango 2.3 and 1.3 million tons, the largest fruit crop group by volume and are major export revenue earner. According to latest figures Pakistan exported 674 thousand tons of fruits, vegetables 692.2 thousand tons and condiments 20.5 thousand tons in FY 2015-16.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is one of the few countries of the world, where a variety of fruits are grown in cool temperate climate such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, and those grown in the warm temperate climate are apricots, figs, grapes, pomegranates, melons and the rest in the tropical and sub-tropical climate like bananas, mangoes, dates, guava and citrus fruits, which are available throughout the year.

While the fruits grown in temperate climate are produced in Baluchistan and NWFP, tropical and subtropical fruits are mostly grown in Punjab and Sindh. The various varieties of fruits are grown over an area of about 8.04 million hectors. The annual production of fruits in Pakistan is estimated at around 6.57 million tonnes, of which only 674 thousand tones were exported in 2015-16. In 2015-16 overall fruit export has witnessed a steady growth. More than 29 types of fruits and 33 types of vegetables are produced in the country throughout the year. The highest production have reached i.e Citrus fruit & Mango 2.3 and 1.3 million tons, the largest fruit crop group by volume and are major export revenue earner. According to latest figures Pakistan exported 674 thousand tons of fruits, vegetables 692.2 thousand tons and condiments 20.5 thousand tons in FY 2015-16.
Riaz Haq said…
#China-#Pakistan #agro-industrial online platform will boost exchange and cooperation. China is committed to strengthening #agriculture cooperation with Pakistan to add impetus to the economic and social development of the two countries- Global Times #CPEC

The new China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Information Platform will boost exchanges and cooperation, said a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

China and Pakistan launched an online platform on Tuesday to collect and display information and achievements in agricultural and industrial cooperation between the two countries, aiming at enhancing bilateral cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"We have noted the relevant situation and I extend my congratulations. I have worked at [the Chinese Embassy in] Pakistan before and have been following the progress of the CPEC closely since returning home," said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the ministry, during a daily press briefing on Wednesday.

Agriculture is an important area of practical cooperation between China and Pakistan, as the two countries have strong agricultural complementarity. China is committed to strengthening agricultural cooperation with Pakistan to add impetus to the economic and social development of the two countries, Zhao said.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan's economy and contributes some 18 percent of the country's GDP. The sector employs a large number of people and is essential for the country's food security and export potential, Xinhua reported on Tuesday citing Asim Saleem Bajwa, chairman of the CPEC Authority in Pakistan.

"We hope and believe that the launch of the information platform will further promote exchanges between the two sides and produce more cooperation," Zhao added.

The Chinese and Pakistani governments established a joint working group on agricultural cooperation in 2018, and established another working group on agriculture under the framework of the CPEC in March 2020.
Ranjit S. said…
What the Western World went through over sixty years ago India is experiencing it today and Pakistan will experience it tomorrow. In the West family owned farms are a thing of the past. There successful family farms in USA which includes many successful Punjabi farmers specially in Yuba City. The problem with family farms (specially in the subcontinent) is that it has to be divided amongst the children and this division makes the farms smaller thus making it harder to conduct a profitable farm. Pakistan inherited the best land of Punjab which were and are owned by mostly Jats and Rajput landlords. Unlike India and Bangladesh Pakistan never had land reform thus the landlords are still very powerful in Pakistan’s Punjab. Unfortunately, the Indian farmers are unable to see the writing on the wall which due to the changing economics are and will make the old communist way (the state buys the farm products and the farmers can’t directly sell their products to the traders) of selling farm products obsolete. Punjab’s salvation is education just like the South has done. The farmers must be represented by educated agricultural economists who can realistically put forth a viable plan during negotiation with the Central government. The people living in the West have no clue or understanding what the farm bill is about. Though I have to admit it’s a great opportunity for the Khalistanis to pounce on the farming bandwagon.
Riaz Haq said…
Ranjit: "Unlike India and Bangladesh Pakistan never had land reform thus the landlords are still very powerful in Pakistan’s Punjab"

Both India and Pakistan have very small farm sizes compared to the world average. The average farm size in Pakistan is 5.6 acres, about twice the size in India. World Census of Agriculture shows that in the poorest 20 percent of countries the average farm size is 1.6 hectares (Ha), while in the richest 20 percent of countries the average farm size is 54.1 Ha, a 34-fold difference.,%2C%20a%2034%2Dfold%20difference.
Riaz Haq said…
Point Counterpoint: Sonali Ranade rebuts Sadanand Dhume’s piece on farmers in Wall Street Journal
His acceptance of propaganda on farm reforms and superficial analysis of farmers’ movement are problematic, writes Sonali Ranade in a rejoinder to Sadanand Dhume’s opinion in Wall Street Journal

Sonali Ranadi Tweet: My take on the rather misleading article by
@sdhume (Shadanand Dhume) in WSJ on the farmers protests.

The truth is superficial reportage on the farmers' real grievances is rife and Dhume's piece only misrepresents the farmers' case to US readers.

For the sake of perspective, let me at the outset clarify that the reforms Dhume is talking about have already been carried out in Bihar. The net result of these reforms was that the price of cereals in the State fell by 20 to 30%, and continue to be well below the national average.

Which farmers, in which part of the world, would not be concerned by 20 to 30% fall in their income?

Sadanand Dhume:

The protests simmered for months before exploding into violence on Jan. 26, Republic Day. Tens of thousands of farmers stormed the national capital, battling cops and marring a national celebration. Protesters hoisted a Sikh religious flag on a flagpole at the Red Fort, a symbolic seat of power. One farmer died when his speeding tractor overturned at a barrier, according to police.

A standoff continues between the government and protesters at three sites on Delhi's borders. Farmers face thousands of police in riot gear behind concrete barriers, coils of barbed wire and iron spikes.

There's nothing wrong with celebrities taking an interest in events half a world away. But when it comes to the farmer protests, celebrity Twitter activism is based on a reductive caricature of complex issues as a faceoff between colorfully turbaned sons of the soil and a thuggish government backed by evil corporations.

Sonali Ranade

There is so much spin packed into these words, that it is hard to know where to begin.

Fact is farmers didn't storm Delhi. They were barricaded at the borders, with concrete barriers, deep trenches dug on national highways, armed police, parked buses, and now spiked roads. They were denied their right to enter the capital, were branded as traitors, insulted & humiliated.

The farmers entered the Capital after receiving Govt. permission. True some, very few, given their large numbers, deviated from agreed route, and landed in the Red Fort, where they raised a Sikh religious flag on one of the masts. [Not the main mast.]

It is not at all clear if this wasn't a false flag operation, instigated by some people who are known to be ruling party supporters.

Yet, the entire propaganda machinery of the Govt. including some sections of the media, swung into action to discredit and delegitimate the 2 month old protest, on the basis of that one stray incident, that the ruling party itself may have orchestrated for the purpose.

Shouldn't Dhume at least mention this side of the story to his readers?

Dhume is no newbie to the Indian scene? Has he represented the reform bills in their true perspective? As I shall show, he has glossed over the key aspects of why these reforms, by wrong sequencing, result in an unintended transfer of wealth from farmers to traders.

But here Dhume criticises the celebrities for something he himself is guilty of.

Fact is, these celebrities were simply asking for the issue to be examined and discussed because on the face of it, hundreds of thousands of peasants don't sit in protest for over 2 months, for nothing. But that obvious fact is of no salience for the jaded sensitivities of a Dhume.
Riaz Haq said…
Plan bee: #Pakistan's Rs 1 billion #honey exports create #jobs buzz. The government has pledged to increase the plantation of specific trees and flora to improve the quality and production of honey and grant interest-free loans to traders. #PTI

When Ameer Ahmed set up his bee farm as a part-time business with 30 beehives last year, the 22-year-old university student did not expect to turn the trade into a full-time job after making hefty profits.

Today, he has 100 beehives on his farmland in the Chakwal area of Pakistan’s populous Punjab province, and earns between $13,000 and $16,000 annually, mainly by exporting honey to countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is an easy and profitable business as one can start it without getting any formal skills and education,” Ahmed told Arab News.

He is among a growing legion of unskilled laborers, students and growers in remote areas of the country who are turning to beekeeping as a profitable source of income since it requires minimal capital and skill.

“I am encouraging my friends to get into this business, too,” Ahmed said, adding that he had to hire two workers to look after his growing apiary.

Commercial beekeeping is fast becoming a thriving business in Pakistan’s rural areas, providing new job opportunities for thousands of men and women, and helping the country earn foreign exchange through exports, mainly to Middle Eastern countries, according to researchers and honey traders.

The business is growing in the Chakwal, Jhelum, Attock and Sargodha districts of Punjab province, some parts of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which have areas suitable for the exotic bees.

The South Asian nation currently produces around 7,500 metric tons of honey annually, with more than 8,000 beekeepers rearing exotic species in 1 million beehives, according to the government’s Honeybee Research Institute in Islamabad.

Around $6 million in foreign exchange is earned annually through honey exports to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the “Billion Tree Honey Initiative” in December last year to increase honey production to 70,000 metric tons in a year.

The government estimates the project will help generate around 43 billion rupees ($268 million) for the national economy and provide about 87,000 green jobs.

Under the program, the government has pledged to increase the plantation of specific trees and flora to improve the quality and production of honey and grant interest-free loans to traders.

Raza Khan, president of the All Pakistan Beekeepers Trade and Exporters Association, said Pakistan was producing “100 percent organic” honey through modern bee farming, and demand was increasing, particularly in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

In the 2018-2019 financial year, Pakistan exported honey worth 966 million rupees ($5.8 million), about 260 million rupees more than the year before, according to the Honeybee Research Institute.

Industry insiders predict the numbers will keep going up as the country’s beekeepers benefit from Pakistan’s push to reforest the land under its “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” project, launched in 2018.

“Our honey is unique in the world for its natural taste, color and texture,” Khan said. “Its demand abroad is growing fast,” he added, urging the government to provide more incentives to boost the business and grant industry status to commercial beekeeping.

“The government should strengthen certification and quality standards of the honey so that we can also export it to the European market,” Khan said.

Riaz Haq said…
Farmers in Pakistan are increasingly moving towards tunnel farming to produce summer vegetables and fruits in winters for a market continuously looking for better, and fresher produce. But is it economically feasible?

Cultivation in tunnel farms usually begins in autumn. A normal tunnel farm ranges from 10 to 20 acres with most farms needing a covered area of at least 3 acres to be economically feasible. Steel pipes, aluminium pipes or bamboos are used to create D shaped rows of support structures around the plantation that are usually 3 to 12 feet in height and about 5 feet wide. The structures are covered with polythene sheets to create either low tunnels, walk-in tunnels or high tunnels depending on the farmer’s needs.

The polythene sheets traps heat inside and keep rain and frost outside, simulating summer and enabling the plants to be able to bear produce that would not be able to grow if exposed to the natural climate.

In Pakistan, especially in the fertile plains of Punjab, farmers are fast switching away from conventional farming and adopting tunnel farming techniques, which reportedly give a higher per acre yield and higher profits compared to conventional farming.


Pakistan growers receive technical greenhouse training

The Food and Agriculture Organization has introduced high tunnel-farming with drip-irrigation systems in newly merged tribal districts to promote off-season crop production through agro-technology in the wide-range climate of the region.

One hundred high tunnels have been installed in districts of Khyber, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan, twenty each. These tunnels will be supplemented with a drip irrigation system, a method of controlled irrigation with which water is slowly delivered to plants, resulting in efficient use of water and fertilizer.

As part of promoting off-season vegetable production, FAO arranges extensive off and on-job training and exposure visits for the farmers who are less or no familiar with tunnel farming methods for commercial agriculture.

"It is crucial to provide technical training to the farmers in these areas as there is very little technical assistance and extension work available on tunnel-farming for growing vegetable crops in targeted areas," says Rustam Khan, an expert agriculturist from FAO.

Quality seeds
The farmers are also provided with the certified quality seeds and trained on low-tech procedures of growing high-quality food to reap more profits.

FAO continues familiarizing farmers with agro-technology in tribal areas to boost the production aiming food security and agro-based livelihood opportunities. Walk-in tunnels help increase productivity reducing the gap between current and potential production of agro-food targeting promotion of traditional economy and restoration of livelihood in insurgency-affected areas.

With the tunnel farming techniques, farmers in the Merged Districts of KP are evolving from subsistence to commercial agriculture. The growing practice is promoting farmers learning in agriculture development, climate security, creating socioeconomic resilience and improving market services on a sustainable basis.

Riaz Haq said…
PIA cuts freight charges to 24 cents, about Rs40 per kg (US$0.04 per kg) for vegetable/fruit to boost #exports to the #MiddleEast. PIA has installed a large scanning machine at #Islamabad Airport where 100 boxes at once. Will do same in #Karachi, #Lahore.

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has slashed its freight charges for the export of fruits and vegetables to the Middle East, in a move it hopes will facilitate substantial growth in horticulture exports.

According to Pakistan Today, the airline made the decision after a detailed meeting between PIA chief executive air marshal, Arshad Malik, chief executive of the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed, and officials of Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

Pakistan Today reports PIA has revised air freight charges downward to 24 cents, equivalent to Rs40 per kg (US$0.04 per kg) for vegetable and fruit exports to the Middle East, including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Dubai.

The airline also assured PFVA of low freight charges in the future, along with the provision of state-of-the-art ground handling facilities.

Malik informed officials the airline has already installed a large scanning machine at Islamabad Airport where 100 boxes can be scanned at the same time. The same scanners will be installed at Karachi and Lahore airports, he added.

He also said he was keen to meet with Pakistani mango exporters before the start of the season so that close coordination could be maintained with all stakeholders.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan gearing up to G.I. trademark #Himalayan pink #salt for #exports. #Pakistani Pink salt is valued around the world for its #health benefits. Pakistan possesses one of the world's largest salt deposits stretching over 209 km in #Punjab salt range.

Muhammad Irfan, 38, was keenly supervising the crafting of decoration items made of the famous Himalayan pink salt at his factory located in Khushab, a district in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province.

Thousands of people in Khushab are linked with the salt industry as the district is rich in minerals including huge deposits of salt, he said.

"We are associated with this business since 1990. Initially, we have been manufacturing edible salt, but over the past few years we have started making other products made of Himalayan rock salt considering their high demand, both locally and abroad," Irfan, the owner of M&S Salt Factory, told Xinhua.

The Himalayan pink salt has been a preferred choice for use in daily diet by people around the globe due to its health benefits, he said, adding that products like lamps, candle holders and tiles made from the pink salt are also greatly adored as they have seen a substantial boost in exports to the United States, Europe and the Gulf states.

Talking about the difference between the ordinary salt and the pink salt, Irfan said that the most special aspect about the pink salt is its color which makes it unique and popular in Pakistan and many other countries, adding "the pink variety of salt is only found in Pakistan."

Pakistan possesses one of the world's largest salt deposits stretching over 209 km lying in areas between the eastern district of Jhelum and northwestern Kohat district. The country is also home to the second-largest salt mine in the world, the Khewra Salt Mine in Jhelum.

According to officials from the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Pakistan's annual export of salt totals around 400,000 tons.

In an effort to curb the unauthorized use of Pakistan's indigenous products by other countries, Pakistan has recently announced to register its pink salt as the Geographical Indications (GI).

The registration will serve as a potential economic tool to promote and enhance national and international trade of Pakistan and earn revenue, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said recently, adding that this will encourage and motivate Pakistani producers to expand their business at a global level.

Pakistan has enacted the Geographical Indications Act, 2020 last year to protect its indigenous products, combating counterfeiting and ensuring premium prices in foreign markets.

In a conversation with Xinhua, Ismail Sattar, a prominent salt exporter and chief executive officer of the salt manufacturing company HubSalt Pakistan, said that his business has been profitable and is expected to see further growth after recent steps taken by the government to standardize the pink salt industry of Pakistan.

"The special focus being given by the incumbent government to regularize salt trade and develop a branding mechanism to sell the commodity in the international market at competitive prices will definitely give a new impetus to the industry," he said.

In the past, many illegal local traders exported the indigenous crude pink salt to other countries, which would then brand it as their produce and earn huge profit, but the huge profit otherwise could have been earned by Pakistan, Sattar said.

Pakistan remains at the 20th place in the list of salt exporting countries despite the fact that Pakistan is among the biggest salt producers, the salt exporter said, blaming the situation on illegal regional trade and absence of the GI.
Riaz Haq said…
Aarthi’s role in Pakistan agriculture
Pakistan’s agriculture sector forms the backbone of the economy, generating not only 21 percent of the GDP directly but also feeds large-scale industries such as textiles and agro-based SMEs. It accounted for 16.5 percent of country’s exports in 2012 and employs 45 percent of the country’s labor force. Yet, productivity indicators suggest that yields have stagnated over the past decade in most crops and the productivity gap with high performing countries is wide. There is also a clear mismatch between the level of real economic activity taking place in agriculture and flow of formal credit to the sector: in 2010- 11, lending to agriculture sector made up only eight percent of the banking sector’s total advances and 7.6 percent of private sector credit. Planning Commission estimates for 2011-12 show that demand for agriculture credit stands at PKR 750 billion whereas the flow to the sector stood at PKR 294 billion only (34 percent of total demand). This demand has been growing at a rate of 14.6 percent per annum over the past five years whereas actual disbursement has increased by only 8.6 percent, creating a widening supply-demand gap that is being met through informal sources.
In Punjab, the arthi remains the largest source of informal credit for agriculture. He successfully lends to the segment considered risky and not credit worthy by banks. Not only does he make money but also manages his risk well. In order to generate some outside-the-box thinking on the issue of linking banks to the small farmer, this scoping study take a close look at the arthi system in Punjab to understand the arthi’s role in the agriculture supply chain by mapping his network and linkages, understanding his operations, finances (such as sources of funds, interest rates, costs and profits) and risk management techniques. Lessons from the arthi model are used to propose ideas for pilots and research that can break this apparent deadlock with regards to channeling institutional credit to agriculture in a profitable and sustainable manner.
Based on field interviews with arthis, wholesalers, input dealers and farmers, we find that arthis are not a uniform set but consist of different types offering a range of services depending upon the market they serve. However, commonly they operate out of the province’s 325 commodity markets, which act as the central place where all players in the agriculture marketing chain interact. The arthi provides two major services to the farmer: firstly, he provides inputs on credit at the time of sowing of a particular crop and secondly, acts as the sale agent for the farmer and facilitates the sale of the harvested crop in the market. By taking advance from the arthi, the farmer is bound to sell his produce through the same arthi giving the arthi control over the farmer’s cash flows. The rates charged by the arthi and his portfolio’s risk profile demonstrate that there is money to be made in agriculture lending to small and medium farmers. With operational costs at less than 2.5 percent of total volume of lending, nominal write-offs and interest rates ranging between 62 percent and 80 percent, profit margins for the arthi are quite significant. In addition to earning from credit, the arthi also earns commission from the sale of the produce of his borrower, calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the produce ranging from 2 percent to 4 percent depending upon the crop and his terms with the client.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #wheat production this year may surpass previous records with a big margin, crossing 28.75 million tons, two million tons more than the previous record of 26.67 million tons set in 2016/17 #food #agriculture #economy #COVID19 #pandemic

If this feat is achieved, Pakistan may not require further imports at least in considerable quantities. Owing to last two back-to-back failures of crops, Pakistan had to import over two million tons during the last one year to meet shortfall in grain production. These reports are, however, in complete contrast to what federal government projected about the grain output. While reviewing performance of the rabi crops (2020/21) last week, the Federal Committee on Agricutlure estimated wheat production at 26.04 million tons, showing an increase of 1.7 percent over the last year.

In Punjab, having share of around 75 percent in total production, wheat harvest may hover around 21.75 million this year, if present trend in early harvesting is something to go by. Official circles also lately voiced a significant upsurge in wheat output, at least in the Punjab.

According to a senior official of provincial Agriculture Department, more than 35 maund (40kg each) per acre average output is recorded in the crop cut samples. This is more than the 30 maunds average per acre output of wheat in the province. To have an idea about how much total production could increase with even a slight increase in per acre yield, an official said, provincial production jumped around 600,000 tons with one maund per acre increase in the production if present area under cultivation is taken into account. The official was optimistic about production close to 21.75 million tons in the province against the previous high of 20.46 million tons achieved in 2016/17. Last year, Punjab’s output was 19.40 million tons.

Against the official estimates of more than 33 maunds per acre, farmers seem more upbeat about harvesting much greater output of wheat in 2020/21 season. “We have never heard so consistently about 40-45 maunds per acre yield by so many growers this year,” said Ibrahim Mughal, chairman of Agri-Forum Pakistan. The conducive temperature for most period of crop, close to no rains which led to virtually no attach of rust due to low humidity and much of early sowing brought a synergy of three factors for cultivation of a super healthy crop this year, he observed. In districts like Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh and Layyah, many farmers even reported 50-55 maund per acre yield of wheat.

“Safely, we may see at least 1.5 million tons of more production than the initial estimates,” Mughal said. Procurement target by public sector department should be met at all cost so farmers could be able to get due share of their produce. Pakistan Kissan Ittehad also predicted one of the greatest jumps in wheat production in ongoing season, pegging national production at over 28.5 million tons.

Many farmers viewed that they are harvesting about 10 maunds per acer greater crop size this year compared with the last year. Reports of achieving 35 to 40 maunds per acre of wheat is normal nowadays. There could be a significant jump in yield of crop due to multiple factors. Increase in wheat support price gave an impetus to wheat plantation in the country. Early sowing and subsequent unprecedented old nights and cool days for almost three months gave an ample time for growth of plant and grain development.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's #cotton production jumps 18%. #USDA: "Pakistan's cotton production for marketing year 2021/22 is forecast at 5.3 million 480-pound (lb) bales, up 18% from 2020/21 estimate, due to new seed varieties, better pest management & government support"

April 7 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service post in Islamabad:

"Pakistan's cotton production for marketing year 2021/22 is forecast at 5.3 million 480-pound (lb) bales, up 18 percent from the revised 2020/21 estimate, due to availability of new seed varieties, better pest and disease management, and government support."

"Pakistan's cotton output still remains at historic lows, but to keep its textile mills humming it will continue to import large volumes of cotton. Marketing year 2021/22 imports are forecast to remain constant at 5.0 million 480-lb bales. Textile mill consumption is forecast slightly higher at 10.3 million bales, due to brisk milling activity undergirded by strong government support policies for the country's important textile industry."

Riaz Haq said…
PM #ImranKhan: Kisan Card will 'transform' farming in #Pakistan. #Technology will eliminate bribes and let #farmers get #agriculture loans and have direct access to agriculture #subsidies for #seeds, #pesticides & #fertilizer.

The premier said that the subsidy on DAP (diammonium phosphate), which was previously Rs500, would also be increased to Rs1,000 under the Kisan Card.

"Subsidies will also be available for seeds and pesticides," said the prime minister, adding that loans to farmers would also be provided through the card and preparations for this were already under way.


The premier said that during the PTI government's tenure, farmers had gained an additional Rs1,100 billion due to the prices they received for produce such as sugarcane, wheat and corn.

"Pakistan's poverty is concentrated in rural areas," he said, adding that the additional money that farmers would gain would help to improve their standard of living. He said that reducing poverty had been the "real purpose" of the PTI government since day one, adding that it was now "moving towards that target".

The prime minister also mentioned other measures the government was taking to improve the agricultural sector and pointed out the Rs300bn transformation package.

"Water is a very big problem. If farmers face water shortages then their produce is affected," he said, adding that two big dams were being made after 50 years to address this issue and Rs220bn from the transformation package was set aside for the fortification and lining of canals. Additional small scale water projects were also being carried out, he said.

He also stated that due to his efforts, agriculture had been brought under the scope of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to benefit from Beijing's agricultural technology and seed development. Pakistan's own research institutions on seed development would also be revamped, the premier said.

The prime minister also stated that a lot of agricultural produce that was imported, would now be grown in Pakistan, adding that the country's favourable climate and temperature provided the necessary conditions to increase crop yield.

"Our farmers are still using old methods," lamented the premier and stated that extension services were being privatised. A trained professional per Union Council would be responsible for visiting farmers on a motorcycle in the area and informing them about new agricultural techniques.

"There is great need for this because we need [to adopt] new [agricultural] practices," said the prime minister, adding that Pakistan's agriculture was subsistence level so "we will train them (farmers) through extension services to increase their productivity."

He also pointed out initiatives to develop Pakistan's livestock and said Pakistan still imported milk due to low productivity. Thus, Rs40bn have been set aside to import semen so livestock breeds could be improved, said the premier.

"You will see that change will come in one to two years and because of that, milk production will increase three-fold," he said, adding that improving the breed of livestock will not only allow Pakistan to provide cheap milk but also export cheese and milk.

"We can earn $25bn just from cheese and milk exports in the next three years."

Prime Minister Imran Khan lamented the losses that vegetables and fruits suffered at 50 per cent and 20pc for grains. "So we have decided to develop storage for them and food processing plants," he announced, adding that billions of rupees were lost due to 20pc of wheat being lost and fruits and vegetables could otherwise be provided much cheaper.

Among other measures he mentioned were doubling of loans for farmers, local production of fertilisers, doubling cereal production as well as improving local production of medicinal plants, corn and developing the fishery sector such as prawns.
Riaz Haq said…
#Arabian varieties of #dates offer better yield in #Pakistan, among the top date producers and exporters in the world, with annual date production of more than 535,000 tons.Local farmers have developed interest in growing the foreign varieties. #fruits

KHAIRPUR: Five years ago, 70-year-old Ghulam Qasim Jiskani, a farmer in Khairpur, Pakistan’s largest date-producing region, experimented with Middle Eastern varieties of the fruit to see if he could increase his yield.

Today, he is spearheading a successful campaign to produce Arabian dates at home.

Pakistan is one of the top date producers and exporters in the world, with annual date production of more than 535,000 tons, according to data from the Trade Development Authority.

The main region for date cultivation is Khairpur district in southern Sindh province, Jiskani’s hometown.

On his farmland in Kot Diji village, Jiskani has planted date palm varieties that are grown in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Morocco.

“It can be a game-changer for the area’s date production and export,” Jiskani told Arab News last week, saying by planting foreign varieties of the fruit, Pakistani farmers could earn up to 15 times more from their harvest.

“I brought 400 tissues of 15 date palm varieties from Dubai five years ago,” he said.

“These trees are now laden with fruit and I plan to market the yield in July when they are ready for harvest. My experiment has been successful.”

Jiskani’s plantation covers two acres of land, but as his Arabian varieties of dates have grown so well on the land, he now plans to dedicate three more acres to the fruit and hopes other growers will follow suit.

Jiskani believes that with the Arabian varieties, local growers would be able not only to tap into domestic demand but also boost Pakistan’s date exports.

“Pakistani date farmers also have a good chance to penetrate the international market with their yield,” he said.

“With that in mind, we are striving to replace local varieties with foreign ones.”

Local farmers have already developed interest in growing the foreign varieties.

“After Jiskani’s experiment, a significant number of Khairpur’s date farmers want the government to facilitate the procurement of foreign palm tissues at feasible rates,” Mushtaq Soomro, a senior official at the Sindh Agriculture Extension Department, told Arab News.

“If they start cultivating today, 40 percent of the region’s date cultivation will transform, and we will see the exotic varieties of the fruit covering much of this land.”

One of the reasons for the growing interest was climate.

“Monsoon in Pakistan arrives in June and persists for a few months,” Soomro said.

“This is also the harvesting season for locally produced dates. Rainfall on the ready-to-rip crops is destructive, however. To get away from possible losses, growers opt for dried dates, though they are comparatively less lucrative for them. By growing the Middle Eastern varieties, though, date famers are hoping for a more exotic early monsoon crop.”

One problem with dried dates from Kahirpur is that their main export destination is India.

“For the past four years or so, however, direct trade of dried dates between India and Pakistan is on a halt, which has resulted in significant losses for local farmers,” Jiskani said. He added that another advantage of the Arabian dates was their longer shelf life and the fact that with higher fiber component they were also healthier.

Rustam Phulpoto, a representative of Khairpur’s KHajjoor Market, said by sticking to its native date types, Pakistan was not focusing on the value addition that the foreign varieties bring.

“This lack of value addition not only makes us import more but also limits our exports as well,” he told Arab News.

Under the Sindh administration’s Agriculture Growth Project 2015-2020, the government was required to import 3,000 exotic date tissues and provide them to local farmers at 70 percent subsidized rates. But that did not happen.

Riaz Haq said…
Despite bumper wheat crop Pakistan still not food secure
Amjad Mahmood Published May 27, 2021

THIS season the country has reaped an all-time high wheat output of 28.75 million tonnes, two million tonnes more than the target of 26.78 million tonnes. The government claims the milestone has been achieved through a 3.25 per cent increase in the area under wheat, a favourable weather throughout the season that helped grow a healthy grain and repel yellow rust attack, and employing of more intensive labour as well as improved farm input use by the growers in the wake of a better price they had secured for their crop last year.

If one goes by the official data, though some experts suspect the official figure saying it lacked any substantial reason in support of the yield boost, the country is far from achieving its food security even with this record output of grain, the main staple food of the population.

The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has estimated that the country will need 29.50 million tonnes, including one million tonnes of strategic reserves, of wheat to feed its people until the next harvest. The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) estimates per capita consumption of wheat at 125 kg per annum as grains make up on an average 60pc of daily diet of an ordinary citizen. The recently released results of the 2017 census put the national population figure at over 220.5 million. This means the country has enough wheat to meet its food security and with import of around 500,000 tonnes of grain it will be able to maintain its strategic reserves as there are about 324,000 tonnes of carryover stocks.

But this simple calculation excludes three factors: the need for more than one million tonnes of seed for the next plantation, staple food requirements of close to 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in the country, and smuggling of approximately 300,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan each year. To meet these needs, the government will have to import over 1.5 million tonnes more wheat taking the total import to over two million tonnes to make the country food secure for the year [the federal food ministry has announced plans to import four million tonnes of grain]. This will give a headache to the foreign exchange-starved government already worried at the rising food import bill.

The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) that recently met under the chair of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin tasked National Food Security & Research Minister Syed Fakhar Imam and Industries Minister Khusro Bakhtyar to look for options to bring down the volume of food imports.

The government’s worries are not implausible. For nature may not be supporting all the time. As one sees that during the last decade there had thrice been a substantial decline in the expected wheat output: -6.9pc in 2012, -3.44pc in 2015, and -3.19pc in 2019. Also the increase in wheat acreage has come at the cost of the area under sugarcane and cotton crops. And the cut in the acreage of the two cash crops means costlier import of the sweetener and white lint to meet domestic needs. A Catch-22 position for the government.

The only solution to the situation lies in improving crops per acre yields. Dr Javed Ahmad, Director of the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, says the seed varieties developed by AARI have genetic potential of nine tonnes per hectare yield but certain factors are reducing the yield to one-third of the potential. Non-availability of certified seed and lower than needed fertiliser intake are the two major reasons he puts forth behind the poor wheat production as compared to neighbouring India and China which are harvesting four and six tonnes per hectare, respectively.

Riaz Haq said…
New farming method promises to multiply Pakistan’s mango yield

Mango grower in Sindh has introduced the small tree system of cultivating orchards, which allows more trees to grow on a smaller area
Sindh has seen a decline in production volume largely due to outdated farming techniques

TANDO ALLAHYAR: After a decade of declining harvest, mango growers in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province are pinning their hopes on a new farming technique that would allow them to increase their fruit yield up to six times, several growers and experts said.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth-largest mango producer, with an annual production volume of about 1.7 million tons. While most of the harvest comes from Punjab, the Sindh province has the second-largest yield and is known for the Sindhri variety of mango, famous for its honey-like sweetness and deep, thin yellow peel.
But farmers are increasingly sounding the alarm on declining crop yield.
Sindh cultivated mangoes on 59,215 hectares of land and produced 381,269 metric tons in 2010. Provincial agricultural data shows this yield reduced to 329,300 metric tons by 2019.
Realizing that a major reason for the decline was outdated farming practices, one grower, Mahmood Nawaz Shah from the Tando Allahyar district, decided to try something new at his Genuine Delight Farms.
In 2019, he initiated a pilot project to cultivate new orchards under the small tree system (STS) on 1.6 hectares of land using a pruning technique that keeps the height of the mango plants at nearly nine feet, making their management easier and helping to accommodate more trees in a smaller area.
“The STS can revolutionize the quantum of our mango production,” Shah, who also represents a provincial farmers’ body, the Sindh Abadgar Board, told Arab News.
“We can increase our mango production some five times in this country,” he added, explaining that while the average mango yield per acre was five metric tons from large trees, an average of 25 to 30 metric tons could be harvested from the same area using the small tree system.
According to estimates by the Sindh Abadgar Board, the STS is currently being used on only 1,618 hectares of Pakistan’s total mango cultivation area of 167,000 hectares. In Sindh, only 10 growers have so far adopted the method.
“We are far behind when it comes to modernizing our farming structures and techniques,” Dr. Noor-un-Nisa Memon, a faculty member at the Sindh Agriculture University in Tando Jam, said.
It was high time, she said, that old mango orchards were replaced with new ones, but farmers in Sindh were reluctant to prune their trees, thinking it would reduce their yield.
Farmers, however, say they are willing to adopt new techniques but cannot do it without government support as most are small-scale growers.
“It is extremely important to adopt the STS to deal with the situation,” Mir Zafarullah Talpur, a grower from Sindh’s largest mango-growing district, Mirpurkhas, told Arab News.
“The government should arrange an extensive awareness program for farmers and provide them subsidies and installment facilities so they can import modern instruments.”
Hidayatullah CHajjro, director-general at Agriculture Extension, said the provincial administration had already arranged several training sessions to raise awareness among mango growers about new farming techniques but agreed that subsidies needed to be given to farmers who wanted to import essential gadgets and machinery.
“By adopting a comprehensive approach, such as the STS, not only can we reclaim our previous production level but also enhance it further,” CHajjro said.
Shah, who introduced the new farming method to Sindh, is hopeful the trend will gain momentum in the next few years.
Riaz Haq said…
With 1.32 billion birds, #Pakistan has the world's 5th largest #poultry population. #meat #eggs #protein
Riaz Haq said…
FAO on Pakistan:

Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector. The country’s economy was the 23rd largest in the world in 2018 in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product (purchasing power parity, PPP).

According to the Labour Force Survey of 2017-18 conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistic, thirty-nine percent of the country’s labour force is engaged in agriculture (30.2 percent males and 67.2 percent females). In total, the agriculture sector contributes 18.5 percent to the country’s GDP.
Out of the total area of 79.6 million hectares, 22.1 million hectares are cultivated; the rest of the territory is comprised of culturable waste, densely populated forests and rangelands. Cropped area constitutes 23.3 million hectares, while forests cover 4.6 million hectares of the total land. The country has the world’s largest contiguous irrigation system with almost 80 percent of the cultivated area irrigated.
Pakistan is also amongst the world’s top ten producers of wheat, cotton, sugarcane, mango, dates and kinnow oranges, and is ranked 10th in rice production. Major crops (wheat, rice, cotton and sugar cane) contribute around 4.9 per cent, while minor crops contribute 2.1 percent to the country’s total GDP.
Livestock sector contributes 11 per cent to the country’s GDP (60.5 per cent in agriculture sector) and employs approximately 35 million people. Fisheries and forestry sectors each contribute an estimated 0.4 per cent to the GDP (2.1 per cent in agriculture sector).

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan rice #exports to surge to a record this year on bumper production in the world’s No. 4 exporter & growing #Russian purchases. Pak domestic production is estimated to surge 13.6% to an all-time high of 8.4 million tons in the year ended June.

A jump in exports, which are likely to climb as much as 15% from a year earlier to more than 6 million tons in 2021, will be good for Pakistan as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is trying to revive the fragile economy with the help of the International Monetary Fund, and aims to cut imports and boost overseas sales.

“We have got access to the Russian market and our exports to that region will increase by as much as 200,000 tons,” said Syed Waseem-ul-Hassan, food security commissioner at Pakistan’s national food ministry. Total exports are expected to increase by 10% to 15% this year from 2020 as the government also aims to boost shipments to regions like Africa, he said by phone.

Russia lifted its 2019 ban on purchases from Pakistan in early June after the South Asian nation strengthened its phytosanitary quality certification process for rice processing units, according to the food ministry. The government also sees increased buying from other countries in the region, such as Ukraine, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Pakistan exports rice to about 140 nations.

The resumption of rice exports to Russia is a milestone, said Malik Faisal Jahangir, senior vice chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan. Four members of the group have already complied with the Russian milling standards, and many more compliant units will be added this year, he said, noting that overseas sales are attractive due to the huge availability of rice.

Domestic production is estimated to surge 13.6% to an all-time high of 8.4 million tons in the year ended June, according to government data.

However, a rise in global supply could further pressure prices of the staple, a predominant source of nourishment for more than 3 billion people worldwide. The Asian benchmark for Thai white rice has slumped 24% since a peak in February, while rice futures in Chicago have gained only 4% during the period.

Currency Boost
A weaker local currency has also helped shippers as Pakistani rice becomes relatively cheaper for overseas buyers. The rupee fell about 3.5% against the dollar in the April-June quarter, according to Bloomberg data. It may slide further by the end of September, with high commodity and oil prices weighing on sentiment.

“A weaker rupee will benefit rice exports, which are already increasing,” said Ahsan Mehanti, chief executive officer at Arif Habib Commodities. “We see our competitors getting more impacted by Covid. This too would help Pakistan’s exports,” he said, adding that shipments of more than 6 million tons would be a record high.

India, the second-biggest grower and top exporter of rice, is just emerging from a devastating second wave of the pandemic. Some scientists say a third wave could arrive within months, driving fears the country may see a repeat of the recent nightmare of oxygen shortages and overwhelmed hospitals.

Pakistan’s successful effort this year to secure the Geographical Indication tag for its basmati rice has also helped the country to compete with India. Basmati rice exports from Pakistan surged 68% to 87,413 tons in March from a month earlier, according to official data.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Among Top 10 Producers Of Wheat, Rice, Sugarcane

Pakistan is blessed with a rich natural resource base for agriculture and is among the top 10 producers of wheat, rice, sugarcane and certain fruits, a government official said on Wednesday.

Addressing the participants of the international conference on “Best practices for building sustainable food systems in OIC Region”, held virtually, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that despite having one of the world’s best alluvial soils and the best irrigation system, the country could not fully harness the potential of the agricultural sector.

The main issues of the agriculture sector included the lack of quality seeds, cold storage facilities, farm mechanisation, trained manpower, post-harvest management, processing industries, and digital agricultural platforms, etc, he added.

The minister said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government has prioritised the agriculture sector.

“We are working to diversify this sector, by enhancing focus on high value horticultural crops, oilseeds and pulses. Our government is also taking keen interest in livestock breed improvement, water conservation and promoting farm mechanisation. We are supporting farmers by furnishing quality seeds of improved varieties, providing farm machinery at subsidised rates, and disseminating improved production packages,” Imam said.

“Due to the excellent agricultural policies of our government; despite [the] Covid pandemic and locust attack, the production of wheat, rice, maize and sugarcane has increased to a record level. This year has been remarkable for [the] agriculture sector of Pakistan, and our economy got a boost with the record agricultural production, indicating a lesser reliance on food imports in 2021/22,” he added.

Additionally, due to the government’s favourable policies and interventions, the exports of agro-commodities have also increased significantly, the minister said, adding that considering the role of the provinces, the government is also engaging diversified stakeholders as the best tactic for building a sustainable food system in Pakistan. These strategic initiatives will help improve the public health situation, which is reflecting high rates of stunting, he added.

The conference was organised by the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) in collaboration with various international research organisations.

Riaz Haq said…
Gomal Zam Dam Makes Two Lac (200,000) Acres Land Cultivable In KP Southern Districts in Pakistan

He said 200,000 acres barren land have been made cultivable in DI Khan and others southern districts of KP which means that Rs20 billion could be generated only from agriculture and 18megawatt affordable electricity in one year.

Focus are being made on food processing in agriculture sector to counter challenges related to food security, he said, adding the Government would help encourage food processing in merged areas to explore and take full advantage of its fruits and agriculture wealth.

The PM's special assistant said DI Khan, Mianwali and Bhakkar districts were going to become a hub of agriculture goods including fruits and vegetables to cater needs of every growing population including Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Agriculture sector had achieved tremendous growth in the country where rice and maize production increased each by over 18pc, cotton by 50 and a record 100MT sugar were produced recently, adding that Rs 12,00 billion value addition were also achieved directly benefiting farmers and agriculture growers.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #agriculture #startup Tazah gets #2 million pre-seed funding. It screens produce for quality, removes rotten produce. It sorts into categories for specific types of buyers. Now it offers 5 products: ginger, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes & onions.

“There is the traditional supply chain and we’re building a parallel customized supply chain that is a more efficient supply chain,” said Bajwa. “It’s almost like reinventing the wheel to build a supply chain that ensures products move as fast as possible from point of harvest to point of retail.” This means Tazah will make early investments as it works with its warehousing and trucking marketplaces for middle- and last-mile deliveries, establishing best practices for how to handle produce.

Since Tazah needs to make deliveries early in the morning, it operates small fulfillment centers in addition to warehouses to stay close to customers. Part of its new funding will be used to expand its fulfillment center network in Lahore, with the goal of being operational in the entire city by the middle of October, before expanding into new regions.

Over-harvesting also contributes to food waste, and one of Tazah’s goals is to build a data and analytics platform that will help farmers plan crops to make sure there is no oversupply in the markets they serve. Farmers typically sell their produce at markets, occasionally forming groups with other farmers. But they don’t have a lot of information about market places and supply/demand beyond their communities. They also often end up in debt to middlemen because they lack access to working capital.

While Tazah is currently focused on its supply chain work, it plans to eventually add financing options for farmers after doing research, like going through several more procurement cycles to understand what how much capital farmers need and how they are able to repay it. Some of the barriers they face include lack of formal credit histories or access to financial institutions that usually don’t open branches in rural areas. Sometimes they borrow working capital from intermediaries in the supply chain, or loan sharks who charge interest rates of more than 60%, creating cycles of indebtedness.

“Financing is something we are aggressively looking after because it’s a future play for us and we are working with farmers to know what they are doing, and how they are actually getting financing,” said Zaka.

Tazah’s founders hope to see more startups emerge to solve problems for Pakistan’s farmers. “Agriculture has been a mostly ignored sector in Pakistan from a technology perspective, and I think that as more people come into this, they’re going to help each other, as opposed to competing with each other,” said Bajwa. “We feel that as more people come in, it will be better because it will accelerate the problem solving in this very difficult space.

He added, “this is such a large space in Pakistan and it’s so inefficient that if we are even able to make a small dent, it’s going to lead to social uplift for hundreds or possibly thousands of farmers, improve the availability of fresh produce, result in less food tasted and reduce food price inflation.”
Riaz Haq said…
Bumper #cotton crop and high global prices to help #Pakistani farmers this year. National rough estimates put cotton production between 7.5 and 8.5 million bales.Cotton price has surged to Rs14,500 per maund. #agriculture #economy #Pakistan #textiles

National rough estimates put cotton production between 7.5 and 8.5 million bales against the official estimates of 10.5 million bales. The country will need to import around 5.0 million bales to meet demand of the local textile industry.

Cotton surges to Rs14,500 per maund

LAHORE: A bullish trend again gripped the cotton market on Tuesday as white lint rate hit Rs14,500 per maund for the third time during the current season.

Brokers say the main reason behind the hike in local white lint rate is reports that cotton futures in the New York market are trading at their highest price in a decade.

Naseem Usman, Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum chief, says that New York cotton futures traded at $1.07 on Monday, sending a panic wave among the textile industry relying heavily on imported lint after failure of the local crop year after year.

He says that local cotton rates are likely to go further up in line with the surge in New York future prices amid heavy buying by China. Pakistan imports cotton from the US, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Central Asian States to meet requirements of its textile industry.

Mr Usman says increasing disparity among dollar and rupee, recent spell of rains in Punjab’s cotton belt, reports of white-fly, mealybug and pink bollworm attacks as well as unavailability of latest reliable data about the crop size are adding to the worries of the local buyers.

Punjab produces 80 per cent of cotton in the country. It had fallen short of the crop sowing target as only 3.1 million acres against the target of 4.0 million acres could be sown for the 2021-22 season. National rough estimates put cotton production between 7.5 and 8.5 million bales against the official estimates of 10.5 million bales. The country will need to import around 5.0 million bales to meet demand of the local textile industry.

Ijaz Ahmed Rao, a cotton grower from Lodhran, says those who have sown the crop early in the season are harvesting 40 to 50 maunds per acre, while the average yield of other growers has been estimated at 25 to 30 maunds.

Responding to a query, he says that pink bollworm and climatic conditions have hit the lint production. “In the desert area, the crop apparently looks healthy with a good number and size of balls. But, when one opens a ball, it’s found to be pink.”

In some areas, he says, a fungus has hit the plants making them look burnt out. Seemingly the difference in atmospheric and soil temperatures has damaged the crop, he adds.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan faces an existential crisis with fast melting glaciers. It has more glaciers outside of the polar icecaps than anywhere on earth. The glaciers feed one of the oldest and most fertile valleys on the planet. #water #agriculture #food via @AJEnglish

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest report in August 2021, on the heels of one of the hottest and most devastating summers on record: floods in northern Europe and China, wildfires in the US, and heatwaves everywhere.

The report tells us that the consequences of the current global warming crisis are largely irreversible. The most we can do is to prevent all-out ecological collapse.

One of the more sobering findings of the report is that polar and mountain glaciers are likely going to continue to melt, irreversibly, for decades or centuries to come.

Pakistan has more glaciers outside of the polar icecaps than anywhere on earth. The glaciers feed one of the oldest and most fertile valleys on the planet – that of the Indus Basin, split between India and Pakistan. Roughly 75 percent of Pakistan’s 216 million population is settled on the banks of the Indus River. Its five largest urban centres are entirely dependent on the river for industrial and domestic water.

Pakistan has been blessed with regular agricultural cycles that have sustained its economy through successive crises. However, if the IPCC Report is correct – which it almost certainly is – by 2050, the country will be out of water.

Pakistan is not the only low-income country facing the impacts of climate change. It is not alone in looking on helplessly as industrialised nations – China and the US being the foremost – drag their heels on lowering emissions. Pakistan, like the Maldives and many other island nations, will suffer from the consequences of global warming disproportionately. However, unlike many countries that have taken up the issue of global emissions at the UN, Pakistan is not doing even the bare minimum to try and secure its future.

To say that this is the largest security issue the country will face in the next few decades would be putting it mildly. No other country is as dependent on non-polar ice for freshwater as Pakistan. No other country stands to lose as much. Yet, Pakistan’s government seems singularly unaware of the looming crisis. It has not even made much effort to meet its target of producing 60 percent of its electrical power from renewable sources by 2030. At the moment, the country still gets well over 60 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels.

Pakistan is already facing mounting environmental challenges. Heatwaves are killing scores of people and impacting crop cycles and yields on a regular basis. This year, both its largest city Karachi and its capital city Islamabad experienced devastating floods. Furthermore, the 806-kilometre (500-mile) Karakoram Highway, which is a critical part of Pakistan’s economic corridor with China, was shut down multiple times, for multiple days, due to landslides. These devastating landslides were a direct result of large-scale deforestation in the area north of Kohistan and south of Jaglot. Further north towards Shimshal and east towards the Skardu Valley, timber mafias are rapidly stripping old-growth forests, all but guaranteeing future environmental catastrophes.


Today, Pakistan is facing an existential crisis. The effects of climate change are not threatening a single sector or region of the country, but the lives and livelihoods of its entire population. As this year’s IPCC report underlined, we are, sadly, already too late to reverse the damage caused by the rampant consumption of fossil fuels. The choice we are facing now – in Pakistan and around the world – is to continue on a path to certain destruction, or start fighting for our collective survival.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan fruit and vegetables exports see growth of 21.29% and 2.01%
Fruits and vegetables exports from Pakistan during first four months of current financial year witnessed about a 21.29% and 2.01% increase respectively as compared to the exports in the same period, last year.

From July to October 2021, over 177,678 tons of fruits -valued at $143.742 million- were exported as against exports of 183,236 tons -worth $118.101 million- in the same period last year.

The data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics also explained that the country earned $68.372 million by exporting about 199.184 tons of vegetables. Last year, these exports stood at 156.841 tons, valued at $67.028 million.
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Pak-China Bio-health Agriculture park inaugurated: Prof Zhang Lixian

In the universities of Lahore, Faisalabad, and Bahauddin Zakariya, demonstration sites have been established. An assortment of food, such as maize, wheat, chili, carrot, and spinach are under research. Nano and earthworm fertilizers have been introduced.

For example, new wheat varieties that combine Chinese and Pakistani germplasms and have the potential to increase the yield by 2.7% per annum have accounted for 3% of the total in Punjab.

For now, three Pakistani students are committed to their construction. “In the near future, more Chinese and Pakistani students will be involved”, said Prof Zhang. “The flourishing of the bio-health agriculture also requires the participation of more enterprises”.

Looking ahead, Naheeda recommends more workshops to be organized in different regions of Pakistan to raise the awareness of farmers and landowners. “Also, the modern techniques in China like compound planting, smart agriculture gain, greenhouse and good varieties should be applied in Pakistan.”
Riaz Haq said…
Telenor’s Khushaal Watan platform to empower rural communities and farmers across Pakistan

The M-Agri value chain is a billion-dollar market. In agriculture, a value chain is a set of activities and actors that connect basic agricultural products from the field to the consumer, adding value to each stage of the process. Input suppliers, farmers or primary producers, wholesalers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers are the primary players associated with the process. In Pakistan, the dilemma is that the agriculture GDP contribution remains about 24%, even though the labour force percentage is much higher than other industries, primarily due to the low yield per acre.

The main reason is that farming and agriculture yields highly depend on seasons and weather.

With the help of special weather forecasting tools, the platform enables farmers to plan ahead how and when to do things. Insights into the weather conditions are provided to the farmers to enable informed decisions.

The weather forecast and related information can be used for planning purposes. The information can help in understanding whether to start or withhold the sowing process, whether or not to irrigate the crop, when to fertilise, and whether to begin complete harvesting immediately or to delay it – all of which have a significant effect on crop yields.

After conducting extensive research, Telenor Pakistan was able to conclude that lack of information and education on the farmer's side is the primary reason for this disparity. The farmers in Pakistan lack access to the latest research regarding various aspects of agriculture.

Telenor Pakistan understood that cutting-edge digital tools in agriculture could generate significant benefits to agribusinesses in emerging markets. By providing farmers with a pathway to financial inclusion, digitalising agri value chain benefits the overall socio-economic development in the country as well. Farmers need professional advice about the ever-changing situations in real-time to tackle various crop diseases, weather conditions, and more.

The journey starts when a user calls on 7272. Telenor has deployed the latest technology that enables them to automatically get information about the crops based on the caller’s current location. The platform was able to gather extensive data about which crops were grown in different regions during different seasons, allowing them to provide accurate updates.

When a user subscribes, they begin receiving targeted, geo-localised information every day via multiple mediums. Automated outbound calls or SMS notifications are sent, and they can also call back to listen to the information if it is more convenient. In addition, the service is offered in multiple local languages, including Sindhi, Punjabi, Saraiki, Pashto, and Urdu.

Telenor has gone above and beyond in creating a persona for this service. The brand has curated a virtual character, Bashir, who interacts with the user in their language. Likewise, the user can scroll down the menu to view weather predictions, which is crucial for ensuring a healthy yield. Farmers can call and interact with the user in their native language or scroll down the menu to see weather predictions, which are crucial to ensuring a healthy harvest.

Riaz Haq said…
New farming method promises to multiply Pakistan’s mango yield

After a decade of declining harvest, mango growers in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province are pinning their hopes on a new farming technique that would allow them to increase their fruit yield up to six times, several growers and experts said.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth-largest mango producer, with an annual production volume of about 1.7 million tons. While most of the harvest comes from Punjab, the Sindh province has the second-largest yield and is known for the Sindhri variety of mango, famous for its honey-like sweetness and deep, thin yellow peel.
But farmers are increasingly sounding the alarm on declining crop yield.
Sindh cultivated mangoes on 59,215 hectares of land and produced 381,269 metric tons in 2010. Provincial agricultural data shows this yield reduced to 329,300 metric tons by 2019.
Realizing that a major reason for the decline was outdated farming practices, one grower, Mahmood Nawaz Shah from the Tando Allahyar district, decided to try something new at his Genuine Delight Farms.
In 2019, he initiated a pilot project to cultivate new orchards under the small tree system (STS) on 1.6 hectares of land using a pruning technique that keeps the height of the mango plants at nearly nine feet, making their management easier and helping to accommodate more trees in a smaller area.
“The STS can revolutionize the quantum of our mango production,” Shah, who also represents a provincial farmers’ body, the Sindh Abadgar Board, told Arab News.
“We can increase our mango production some five times in this country,” he added, explaining that while the average mango yield per acre was five metric tons from large trees, an average of 25 to 30 metric tons could be harvested from the same area using the small tree system.
According to estimates by the Sindh Abadgar Board, the STS is currently being used on only 1,618 hectares of Pakistan’s total mango cultivation area of 167,000 hectares. In Sindh, only 10 growers have so far adopted the method.
“We are far behind when it comes to modernizing our farming structures and techniques,” Dr. Noor-un-Nisa Memon, a faculty member at the Sindh Agriculture University in Tando Jam, said.
It was high time, she said, that old mango orchards were replaced with new ones, but farmers in Sindh were reluctant to prune their trees, thinking it would reduce their yield.
Farmers, however, say they are willing to adopt new techniques but cannot do it without government support as most are small-scale growers.
“It is extremely important to adopt the STS to deal with the situation,” Mir Zafarullah Talpur, a grower from Sindh’s largest mango-growing district, Mirpurkhas, told Arab News.
“The government should arrange an extensive awareness program for farmers and provide them subsidies and installment facilities so they can import modern instruments.”
Hidayatullah CHajjro, director-general at Agriculture Extension, said the provincial administration had already arranged several training sessions to raise awareness among mango growers about new farming techniques but agreed that subsidies needed to be given to farmers who wanted to import essential gadgets and machinery.
“By adopting a comprehensive approach, such as the STS, not only can we reclaim our previous production level but also enhance it further,” CHajjro said.
Shah, who introduced the new farming method to Sindh, is hopeful the trend will gain momentum in the next few years.
“There are farmers who are waiting for the results,” he said. “Most of the farmers initiated the STS in 2019, and it requires at least five years for trees to develop fruit. If the result comes out positively, as per our expectations, there are chances that mango areas will see a sudden transformation, uprooting old practices and adopting new techniques.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan exports record 460,000 tons of oranges in 2020-21

In Pakistan 2020-21, has exported record 460,000 tons of oranges, marking this as the highest ever volume during any season. The export season that ended in April 2021, 460,000 tons of oranges have been exported from the country to worldwide; up 30 per cent compared to the last season.

The demand for Pakistani oranges is on the rise worldwide. Meanwhile, Pakistan has posted over Rs2 billion export mark for the seventh consecutive month in April as the country’s exports stood at US$2.191 billion in April 2021, said Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood.

Abdul Razak Dawood had said that Pakistan’s export for April 2021 stood at USD 2.191 billion. “This is the first time since 2011 that our monthly exports have crossed the 2-billion mark for 7 consecutive months,” he said.
Riaz Haq said…
In 2019, citrus fruit production for Pakistan was 2.29 million tonnes. Citrus fruit production of Pakistan increased from 445,000 tonnes in 1970 to 2.29 million tonnes in 2019 growing at an average annual rate of 4.14%.

Riaz Haq said…
With help of drip irrigation, sprinklers and shading fabric, it is the first ginger farming project that turned out commercially successful.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar on Sunday inaugurated the first ever ginger cultivation during the Ginger Harvest Workshop held in Balkasar area of Chakwal. The harvest celebration was organized by Agrionics Farms.

This was the first ginger harvest piloted in Pakistan. The crop was grown in eleven months. Being an essential ingredient of Pakistani cuisine, ginger is high in demand, but unfortunately it is not grown here, and all the crop is imported to meet the domestic needs.

At the event, participants learnt from experts about the sustainable production and management of ginger and how to properly harvest this crop.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sania said, “Ginger can emerge as a major crop and can be a game-changer for the farming community. Agriculture is profoundly linked to poverty alleviation in Pakistan. Government, private sector, research institutions, innovators and farmers can work together to build synergies and develop agri-value chains. This will lead to greater impact for poverty alleviation, livelihoods creation, economic growth and foreign trade boosting.”

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Muhammad Najeebullah, Director Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad and other experts were also present on the occasion.

Participants were provided with information on how to successfully grow and harvest ginger in the country.

Experts presented research-based information about the agricultural benefits of growing ginger locally.

After knowledge-sharing, all participants went to the field for the formal inauguration and demonstrations.

Chairman PARC briefed Dr. Sania on the success of the ginger cultivation project and its potential to boost Pakistan’s farming sector. “This variety of ginger has been successfully grown and field tested and can yield up to approximately 8 to 10 tonnes per acre in this area” he said.

Other experts shared that Pakistan is an agri economy field to progress as it shall be but now it has started its journey towards self-sustainability.

With help of drip irrigation, sprinklers and shading fabric, it is the first ginger farming project that turned out commercially successful.
Riaz Haq said…
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that with the introduction of better mechanization tools and ICT-enabled extension services, agriculture sector in Pakistan will be revolutionized.

“Olive cultivation and shrimp farming on commercial scale are need of the hour to ensure food security in the country. It will also help in improving exports”, he said while chairing a meeting on Agriculture Transformation Plan in the country, one of the Prime Minister’s Priority Sectors for economic turn-around.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the launch of Kissan Card will facilitate farmers to buy machinery and agriculture inputs.

He directed the authorities concerned to establish centers of excellence in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for research in major crops like cotton, wheat and rice.

The Prime Minister also directed to set up calf-raising centers and introduce better artificial insemination techniques for the growth of livestock and the improvement of milk production in the country.

He directed all the provincial Chief Secretaries to take effective steps for the availability of urea by putting a check on its illegal transportation to neighboring countries, especially Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister was informed that administrative steps were being taken against individuals involved in creating artificial shortage of urea.

The meeting was attended by Industries Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shehbaz Gill, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizengo and senior officers concerned.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan joined the meeting via video link.
Riaz Haq said…
#Chinese #nanotechnology to help #Pakistan in high-yield #agriculture, increase #food #production, raise farmers' #incomes, solve problems such as abandoned #farmland & the adverse impact of excessive use of #pesticides and #fertilizer. #technology

China is ready to extend its achievements to the iron-brother Pakistan in the field of nanotechnology to promote high-yield agriculture, said Dr. Wu Zhiguo, Director of Nano Application Technology Research Office of Gansu Academy of Sciences.

Nanotechnology for high-efficacy agriculture will promote traditional agriculture on the road of high-quality connotative development. It can effectively promote farmers increase in production and income and solve problems such as abandoned farmland and the adverse effects caused by excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers.

We tend to extend this achievement to our iron brother Pakistan, he highlighted on a video meeting with Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yaseen from University of Faisalabad (UAF).

Ma. Yutian, Executive Director General of Gansu BRI Technology Transfer Center also attended the meeting, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Thursday.

Dr. Wu further explained that at present, they have developed a series of nanoparticles, including iron, copper, silicon, zinc, and other series of high-quality nano-micro-fertilizer products.

The proprietary nanoparticles can increase production and efficiency, improve quality, resist pests and diseases and natural disasters, effectively reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and improve soil conditions.

In 2017, Prof. Yan Pengxun, Distinguished Researcher at Lanzhou Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, proposed to use high-quality elemental nano-powders for agriculture and nanotechnology high-yield agriculture.

In the past four years, sufficient trials, demonstrations and promotion of grain, fruits, vegetables, forage grass, and Chinese herbal medicine have been carried out in 23 provinces and municipalities in China. The total trial field has been accumulated more than 4,200 acres.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yaseen affirmed the results of Nanotechnology for High-yield Agriculture project and said that at present, 44 percent of the arable land in Pakistan is used to grow wheat, and the production of wheat is related to the food security of the whole country.

However, the yield of wheat per unit in Pakistan is lower than the world average, and agricultural scientists in Pakistan have been trying to introduce higher-yielding wheat varieties and new technologies.

Pakistan’s Faisalabad, a sister city of Gansu, welcomes the results of Nanotechnology for High-yield agriculture project to be tested in Faisalabad and we are looking forward to its success and its expansion throughout Pakistan to increase food production, Prof. Dr. Yaseen stressed.

On this occasion, Ma Bin, Chairman of Pakistan Qijun international Trading Co., Ltd., underlined that over the years, under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the research and cooperation between China and Pakistan in agriculture have been continuously promoted.

The results of Nanotechnology for High-yield Agriculture project will not only benefit Pakistani farmers, but also open a new way for China agricultural science and technology to reach the world.
Riaz Haq said…
Maize-soybean strip intercropping to reduce Pakistan's soybean import bill by 50% in next five years

“Soybean is considered the essential poultry feed ingredient, next to cereals within the field crop segment. However, local soybean production in Pakistan is much lower than the total national annual consumption. We can get out of this situation by enhancing our local soybean production using strip intercropping technology, which has globally proven to be the technique for enhancing crop production in the face of decreasing cultivation in a sustainable manner,” said Muhammad Ali Raza, post-doc of Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) and Director of National Research Centre of Intercropping, IUB.

Since 2018, successful maize-soybean strip intercropping technology trials have been continuously conducted in Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab. At the meeting, Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza, Dr. Zaheer Ahmad In-charge of soybean cell of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and Hafiz Saad Bin Mustafa, Research Scientist at Directorate of Oilseeds, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI), presented their achievements on maize-soybean intercropping. Positive feedback was also given from agricultural enterprise CEOs and local progressive farmers in the meeting.

“In last autumn, from Aug. to Dec. 2021, I adopted this technology on 40 hectares of land. In the end of the season, I got 1.8 tons of soybean and 2.5 tons of maize per hectare,” Ch. Shaukat Ali Chadhar, President of Kissan Board Pakistan, shared the promising data of the trial by him.

Dr. Muhammad Arshad, CEO of Hi Tech Group, remarked that high protein content soybean seeds with good amino acid profiles are for good digestibility which can be cultivated through maize-soybean strip intercropping technology. “The intercropping technology can increase the protein content within soybean because high maize crops will give some shade to soybean crops which will be the reason for high accumulation of protein within soybean seeds,” he explained.

The meeting was chaired by Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob, IUB Vice Chancellor. “IUB is ready to provide all the technical support required to the industry or farmer community. With this technology, we are aiming to reduce our country’s soybean import bill by 50% in next five years,” he said.

Dr. Rana Tariq, CEO/MD of Shamim Feeds Pvt. Ltd., Tariq Tanveer, CEO of Agri-Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan, Dr. Khalid Mahmood Shouq, Editor in Chief of Veterinary News & Views, Ali Khurram Irfan Nomani, CEO of Akin Foods, Dr. Muhammad Aslam, CEO of Mumtaz Feeds, Rao Muhammad Ikhlaq, Muhammad Manzoor, and Naeem Iqbal, etc. also attended the meeting.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan harvests a record #rice crop of 8.9 million tons in 2021-22, up from 8.4 million tons in prior year. #USDA: “New higher-yielding hybrid rice varieties, improved agronomic practices & increased planting area, driving the increased production"

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Pakistan harvested a record rice crop of 8.9 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year, up from 8.4 million tonnes the prior year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“New higher-yielding hybrid rice varieties, improved agronomic practices and increased planting area, as farmers shift out of cotton, are factors driving the increased production,” the USDA said.

The agency noted that the Pakistan government’s policy of ensuring rice growers had adequate inputs also contributed to the record production.

Meanwhile, the country’s rice exports in 2020-21 (November-October) were stagnant at 3.8 million tonnes, virtually unchanged from the previous year, the report said. Supply chain disruptions, shipping container shortages, and high transportation costs negatively impacted rice exports.

With this year’s record production adding more stocks, total available supply is estimated to be 11 million tonnes, the USDA said.

“Domestic rice consumption is 3.7 million tonnes, leaving an exportable supply of 7.3 million tonnes for 2021-22,” the USDA said. “This large surplus will provide an opportunity to significantly increase exports, but Pakistani rice will continue to face stiff competition from India and Southeast Asia suppliers.”
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Commercial production of kidney beans to start soon in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The first-ever production of kidney bean varieties at commercial level will commence soon as the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc) will release six new varieties of common bean varieties in the country.

According to a Parc report made available to Dawn on Friday, the achievement is part of the promotion of common bean cultivation in Pakistan under the five-year project for the promotion of research for productivity enhancement in pulses launched in 2019. The project has been funded by the Public Sector Development Programme with an amount of Rs1,437 million.

The report says shuttle multiplication has been proposed for the promotion of kidney beans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the spring season and upper regions in the kharif season.

Scientists engaged in the pulse project say Pakistan has become self-sufficient in moong bean as its production was recorded at 267,000 tonnes against the national requirement of 180,000 tonnes.

The major focus of the project is to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses production by increasing the yield of major pulse crops, including chickpea, lentil, moong, mash and kidney beans, by 30 per cent.

Under the umbrella project, till now 3,792 lines have been tested throughout the country in 25 different locations through national uniform yield trials to evaluate and select promising lines for varieties development.

As the country was facing acute shortage of quality seed of pulses, basic and pre-basic seed production has been carried out on about 1,107 acres through which 6,553 tonnes of seed has been produced and distributed among the farmers.

Parc officials say availability of quality seed of improved cultivars is the prime contributing factor towards achieving self-sufficiency in pulses. To ensure this, varietal trials have been conducted in different agro-climatic zones of the country and the seed of identified best varieties was distributed among the farmers.

Riaz Haq said…
#Startups bringing #Pakistan's #farming into #digital age. Since October, #farmers in Chak 26 and pilot projects elsewhere have been given free access to the internet—and it is revolutionizing the way they work. #agriculture #technology via @physorg_com

Agriculture entrepreneurs are bringing the digital age to Pakistan's farmers, helping them plan crops better and distribute their produce when the time is right.
Until recently, "the most modern machine we had was the tractor", Aamer Hayat Bhandara, a farmer and local councillor behind one such project told AFP in "Chak 26", a village in the agricultural heartland of Punjab province.

Even making mobile phone calls can be difficult in many parts of Pakistan, but since October, farmers in Chak 26 and pilot projects elsewhere have been given free access to the internet—and it is revolutionising the way they work.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan's economy, accounting for nearly 20 percent of gross domestic product and around 40 percent of the workforce.

It is estimated to be the world's fifth-largest producer of sugarcane, seventh-largest of wheat and tenth-biggest rice grower—but it mostly relies on human labour and lags other big farming nations on mechanisation.

Cows and donkeys rest near a muddy road leading to a pavilion in Chak 26, which is connected to a network via a small satellite dish.

This is the "Digital Dera"—or meeting place—and six local farmers have come to see the computers and tablets that provide accurate weather forecasts, as well as the latest market prices and farming tips.

"I've never seen a tablet before," said Munir Ahmed, 45, who grows maize, potatoes and wheat.

"Before, we relied on the experience of our ancestors or our own, but it wasn't very accurate," added Amjad Nasir, another farmer, who hopes the project "will bring more prosperity".

Apps and apples

Communal internet access is not Bhandara's only innovation.

A short drive away, on the wall of a shed, a modern electronic switch system is linked to an old water pump.

A tablet is now all he needs to control the irrigation on part of the 100 hectares (250 acres) he cultivates—although it is still subject to the vagaries of Pakistan's intermittent power supply.

This year, Bhandara hopes, others will install the technology he says will reduce water consumption and labour.

"Digitising agriculture... and the rural population is the only way to prosper," he told AFP.

At the other end of the supply chain, around 150 kilometres (90 miles) away in Lahore, dozens of men load fruit and vegetables onto delivery bikes at a warehouse belonging to the start-up Tazah, which acts as an intermediary between farmers and traders.

After just four months in operation, the company delivers about 100 tonnes of produce every day to merchants in Lahore and Karachi who place orders via a mobile app.

"Before, the merchant had to get up at 5 am or 5:30 am to buy the products in bulk, at the day's price, and then hassle with transporting them," said Inam Ulhaq, regional manager.

"Tazah brings some order to the madness."

In the Tazah office, several employees manage the orders, but for the time being, purchases are still made by phone, as the part of the application intended for farmers is still in development.

The young company is also tackling a "centuries-old" system that stakeholders are reluctant to change, explains co-founder Abrar Bajwa.

Record investment

Fruit and vegetables often rot during their journey along poorly organised supply chains, says partner Mohsin Zaka, but apps like Tazah make the whole system more efficient.
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China says it will encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan to build a corridor of green development, health and digital economy, fully make the use of China-Pakistan Free Trade Protocol and increase the agricultural products from Pakistan.

This was stated by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin while responding to a question during his regular press briefing in Beijing.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to China and attendance at the opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics carried on the fine tradition of mutual support between China and Pakistan.

He said during the visit, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Spokesperson said the leadership of the two countries held important exchanges and reached consensus on deepening China Pakistan Economic Corridor, expanding science, agriculture and social livelihood cooperation
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Pakistan’s Fatima Group inks $1 billion deals with global agriculture giants at Expo 2020 Dubai

CMEC as a technology partner, will help with the adaption of climate-smart precision agriculture farm machinery, improved high-yielding seeds, and other crop inputs in Pakistan. In addition, Sarh Attaqnia Company is a key partner that will invest in developing a state-of-the-art agriculture value chain encompassing sustainable production, processing, warehousing, and export marketing of grain crops to help ensure regional food security.

Pakistan has over 20% of its GDP linked with agriculture and about 64% of the human resource associated with it. This collaboration will potentially unlock a tremendous amount of untapped land resources of Pakistan by bringing fallow lands under cultivation for sustainable production of crops like rice, barley, oats, silage bales for livestock, and dairy industry under the Corporate Agriculture Farming initiative. Fatima Group, along with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, is at the Pakistan Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai over the next four days, holding a range of events showcasing its commitment to help ensure regional food security, agricultural innovation, and women empowerment in the agriculture sector of Pakistan.

Fatima Group contributes significantly to the economic development of Pakistan. It was established in 1936 to ensure the trading of commodities and which gradually entered into the manufacturing of various products. The Group has ensured a success story that has spread over seven decades, expanding its horizon from trading to manufacturing. As of now, the Group is engaged in trading of commodities, manufacturing of fertilizers, textiles, sugar, mining and energy.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan plans to sweeten Middle East exports with blue and blackberry cultivation projects

New plant species will be imported from California for mass production in Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan
Pakistan’s soil is rich for the production of blueberry varieties and most heat-tolerant blackberries

KARACHI: The Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), the Punjab government’s agriculture research arm, and Pak Greenland Corporation, an overseas body that focuses on investment in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region, will launch separate cultivation projects to produce blueberries and blackberries in Punjab and GB respectively, with eyes on Middle East exports.

Pakistan’s soil is rich for the production of blueberry varieties and most heat-tolerant blackberries, though the country has not fully utilized its potential.

Now, BARI is working to launch berry cultivation projects in Punjab at a cost of Rs200 million and the Pak Greenland Corporation in GB for Rs157 million.

“We are launching the project to cultivate blueberries and blackberries over 25 acres of land in various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan,” Milad Ul Salman, a Pak Greenland Corporation manager, told Arab News. “The wild varieties of berries are found in abundance in the region, which are mostly consumed domestically and not considered for exports.”

“The varieties we want to produce have been imported from California in the United States. Most of our dried fruits are exported to the gulf countries. We also plan to export these berries to the United Arab Emirates and its neighboring states.”

Salman said his company had mostly acquired barren and rocky land in the remote areas to encourage mass production of the fruits for commercial purposes. The project cost was estimated at Rs200 million, which included the cost to purchase land in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“We have been working on blackberry production for the last six years while we have spent about two years on blueberries on a trial basis,” he said. “After getting encouraging results, we are now moving to launch the project to produce both varieties of berries at a large level through flower pot and drip irrigation cultivation.”

A similar project is also being undertaken by the Barani Institute to mass farm blackberries across the province of Punjab.

“We have submitted a proposal to scale up the project to the Punjab Agricultural Research Board for approval,” Aqeel Feroz, project director for the production of blackberries at the research institute, told Arab News. “We hope it will be approved by June since the cultivation season begins in July.”

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan plans to sweeten Middle East exports with blue and blackberry cultivation projects

Like the varieties being planted in Gilgit-Baltistan, the plant species in Punjab have also been imported from California.

“We have already imported some nine fruits, including blackberry, fig, peaches etc., under our high-value fruit crops project,” Feroz said. “The cultivation of blackberry was very successful and now we are multiplying it and encouraging farmers to grow the fruit because it can be monetarily beneficial.”

He added that the project was estimated to cost about Rs157 million, including the cost of distributing blackberry plants among farmers in Punjab.

Speaking about the price differential of berries in GB and Punjab, officials explained that in Gilgit-Baltistan, the prices of berries were much lower than those available in Punjab mainly due to the domestic consumption of the fruits amid their low production.

“Currently, people don’t grow berries for commercial purposes,” Salman said. “This explains why the prices are low. The blueberries are sold for Rs1,500 per kilogram and blackberries for Rs800.”

However, Feroz said blackberries were not easily available in Punjab which pushed their prices as high as Rs3,000 per kilogram there.

Going forward, fruit exporters in Gilgit-Baltistan are seeking government support against shipment delays and for the timely delivery of their produce to the Islamabad Airport.

“Berries are perishable items,” Salman said. “Our fresh fruits are exported from Islamabad, but it takes a lot of time to deliver the shipment to the capital due to lack of trucks. We need the government’s support to cut the waiting period at Islamabad Airport to make timely shipments.”

Blueberries are considered an excellent source of dietary fiber along with vitamins C and K. They also have iron and a number of antioxidants. Blackberries are also nutritious and generally eaten fresh or used in baked goods such as pies.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani farmers relish better economic gains from growing strawberry, technical guidance improves fruit quality

PESHAWAR, Mar 04 (APP):Noor-ul-Islam, a farmer from Sarkai area of Charsadda district, is attaching high hopes of better economic returns from his 20 kanals farm land fully covered with almost ripen strawberry fruit to be ready for harvesting within a fortnight.

“This year strawberry price in market is very attractive, much more than the expectation of farmers who are now hoping of better economic returns in wake of four to five months efforts of growing this mouth-watering fruit,” said Noor-ul-Islam while talking to APP.

According to details collected by this scribe, fruit vendors in Peshawar Saddar area are demanding Rs600 to Rs800 for one kg strawberry, which is usually available in market at a price ranging from Rs200 to Rs350 per kg.

Due to its unique taste, colour and high dietetic value, strawberry has great liking by foodies who wait for its arrival during spring season in the market.

“This spike in price of strawberry is because of improvement of its quality in the wake of technical guidance being provided to farmers by Agriculture Department and some private institutions like Helvatas, a Swiss-based organization,” Noor added.

He said that due to technical guidance in strawberry growing, the quality of fruit is improved many fold while farmers are also saved from losses they faced due to damage caused by weed and climatic changes.

Noor said with introduction of new techniques like mulching, spreading black plastic sheet on ground, to protect plant from weeds and use of small tunnel farming has helped a lot in improving the quality of strawberry which also attracts suitable price in market.

Earlier, “Our strawberry produce was not attractive for fruit dealers due to white color appearance and damage to fruit at lower side that touched the soil.” However, now popular departmental stores in Peshawar, Charsadda and Mardan are making orders in advance for collection of harvest at prices much above from our expectations, Noor added.

This is all because of technical awareness being imparted among farmers by agriculturists and we are thankful to them, he continued.

About expected production from his 20 kanal lands, Noor said around 28000 plants are planted over an area of four kanal and each plant makes an average production of half a kg. So the expected production from 20 kanal lands is around 70,000 kg strawberry, he estimated.

About the price, he said in the beginning, it was very attractive and during peak of production period from mid March to late April reduces due to availability of a lot of fruit in market.

“Strawberry growing has great potential and we are encouraging farmers to concentrate over this fruit due to its better economic benefits,” comments Zia-ul-Islam, Regional Director Agriculture Khyber District.

Talking to APP, Zia-ul-Islam apprised that the runner plant (nurseries) of strawberry were earlier set up only in Swat district due to its cold climate and saplings were supplied to the whole of Pakistan.

However now, he continued, he has introduced the concept of establishing strawberry nursery in Bajaur at Salarzai area and results are very encouraging.

The strawberry grown by using runner ups of Bajaur nurseries had better taste than the fruit of other areas and fetching good market price, Zia claims. He said he is also introducing same concept in Khyber District by starting growing saplings.

Establishment of strawberry nurseries has very great potential in newly merged districts where climate conditions of a number of locations suit its growing and can help a lot in creating livelihood for terrorism affected tribesmen, Zia suggested.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani farmers relish better economic gains from growing strawberry, technical guidance improves fruit quality

Establishment of strawberry nurseries has very great potential in newly merged districts where climate conditions of a number of locations suit its growing and can help a lot in creating livelihood for terrorism affected tribesmen, Zia suggested.

In tribal districts, people had no knowledge about growing strawberry and we are holding farmers meeting to create awareness, Zia added. He said this fruit can benefit farmers of cold as well as tropical regions. As in cold areas nurseries can be established while in sub-tropical regions, farming can be done.

The nursery set up at Bajaur has even supplied runner plants to farming community in Multan besides some areas in KP.

“We have trained a number of farmers in Charsadda district about measures to improve quality of strawberry fruits and the beneficiaries are now making gains of training by improving quality of fruit,” claims Qazi Ajwad from Helvatas organization of Switzerland.

Qazi apprised APP that Helvatas trainers educated farmers about benefits of mulch, tunnel farming and proper arranging of soil ridges for planting saplings. Helvatas, he continued, also purchased few numbers of machines for free distribution that helps farmers in making of soil ridges.

Ajwad concurs with suggestion for creating awareness among farmers to benefit from the potential of strawberry growing which is at present very low in the country.

Nature has blessed Pakistan with favorable climatic conditions for strawberry cultivation and it can be grown a large areas of the country, Qazi Ajwad opined.

The fruit was first introduced in KP in 1980’s and is grown only in few districts including Peshawar, Abbotabad, Mardan, Haripure, Mansehra and Charsadda.

The climatic condition of almost majority of areas in newly merged districts suits for strawberry growing besides runner plants and can bring economic revolution in the lives of farming community of the region if awareness is created and training are imparted to them, Qazi suggested.
Riaz Haq said…
Potatoes Exports by Country 2020

French fries serve global demand
French fries demand
Global sales from potatoes exports by country amounted to US$4.3 billion during 2020 for spuds in their raw form. In addition, the value of shipments for prepared or preserved potatoes including frozen French fries represents an additional $9.4 billion in international sales.

Overall, the value of exported raw potatoes expanded in value by an average 6.6% for all exporting countries since 2016 when raw potatoes shipments were valued at $4 billion. Total prepared or preserved potatoes shipments including frozen French fries appreciated by 7.2% over the same 5-year period.

Year over year, the value of exported raw potatoes declined by -15.1% from 2019 to 2020. The annual decrease for prepared or preserved potatoes including frozen French fries fell in total value by -9.7%.

For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for raw potatoes is 0701. The 6-digit prefix for frozen prepared or preserved potatoes including French fries is 200410 while 200520 is the 6-digit prefix for unfrozen potatoes prepared or preserved with vinegar or acetic acid.
Potatoes Exports by Country: Raw
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of unprocessed raw potatoes shipped during 2020.

Netherlands: US$825.9 million (19.4% of exported raw potatoes)
France: $684.3 million (16.1%)
Germany: $372.5 million (8.7%)
Canada: $295.9 million (6.9%)
China: $289.7 million (6.8%)
United States: $244.5 million (5.7%)
Belgium: $225.5 million (5.3%)
Egypt: $221.9 million (5.2%)
United Kingdom: $135.9 million (3.2%)
Spain: $115.4 million (2.7%)
India: $71.6 million (1.7%)
Pakistan: $69.8 million (1.6%)
Israel: $60.3 million (1.4%)
Denmark: $54.4 million (1.3%)
Russia: $50.5 million (1.2%)
Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan Honey Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.41% in the forecast period, 2023-2027, to reach USD451.77 million by 2027.

Changing consumer preference towards consumption of healthier sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners and the health benefits of honey, including the presence of anti-cancer agents, are the primary factors driving the growth of the Pakistan Honey Market.

Also, the increased demand from the cosmetics and personal care industry and ongoing adoption of advanced beekeeping techniques by the market players are the other factors that are expected to create lucrative growth opportunities for the Pakistan Honey Market in the forecast period.

Consumers are becoming health-conscious and aware of the health-damaging properties of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which have created the demand for natural sweeteners. Honey can be used as an excellent substitute instead of white sugar, and it provides several health benefits to the consumer.

Honey also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-viral properties and, therefore, is considered an effective medicine to treat cough, cold, and throat infections. Also, favorable government initiatives such as the "Billion Tree Honey Initiative" and plantation of trees to boost the local bee population and honey production are expected to fuel the growth of the Pakistan Honey Market in the forecast period.

The Pakistan Honey Market can be segmented into product, type, pack size, packaging, distribution channel, application, regional distribution, and company. Based on the product, the market is bifurcated into natural/organic honey v/s processed honey.

Natural/organic honey is leading the market with a market share of 82.26%, and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Natural/organic honey is preferred over its counterpart as it has enhanced antioxidant properties and can be stored for a longer duration.

Major market players operating in the Pakistan Honey Market

Natural Swat Bee Honey
Simply the Great Food
Forest Honey
Shifaheillahi Natural Honey
Nature's Store
My Honey
Organic Honey
Sunbulah Group (Al-Shifa Honey)
Buzzin Beez
Pakeeza Honey Center
Report Scope:

Years considered for this report:

Historical Years: 2017-2020
Base Year: 2021
Estimated Year: 2022
Forecast Period: 2023-2027
Pakistan Honey Market, By Product:

Natural/Organic Honey
Processed Honey
Pakistan Honey Market, By Type:

Orange Blossom
Pakistan Honey Market, By Pack Size:

1000gm and Above
Pakistan Honey Market, By Packaging:

Pakistan Honey Market, By Distribution Channel:

Convenience Stores
Pakistan Honey Market, By Application:

Food & Beverage
Personal Care and Cosmetics
Pakistan Honey Market, By Region:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
For more information about this report visit

Riaz Haq said…
Banana production increases in Pakistan

The production of bananas in Pakistan has increased during past few years after the successful experiments of tissue culture of Chinese imported plants. Dr. Alam Riaz from the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) said Pakistan produced twelve different varieties of bananas from Chinese plants that were imported in 2009.

Riaz said one million plants of these varieties were harvested on the left bank of Sindh province in 2012 and out of these two species provided extraordinary results which were approved by Sindh Seed Council for commercial growth.

“Pakistan is producing 150,000 tons banana per year. Banana production will be increased to 700,000 tons in coming years as the PARC is producing 50,000 and the private sector is growing 500,000 to 600,000 tissue cultured plants every year for commercial yield,” he added.

PARC conducted special banana producing labs in Karachi and Thatha where a single plant was sold for 60 rupees and the commercial sector sold the tissue cultured new variety at 100 rupees per plant, he added.
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Pakistan: Avocado plantations part of climate-resilient crops campaign

As a number of crops in Pakistan are being affected by climate change, PARC (the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council) intends to fill the gap with climate-resilient crops. According to PARC Programme Leader of Fruit Crops, Dr Alam, avocado plantations are part of that programme.

Alam has stated that PARC was determined to help grow avocadoes at the commercial level after successfully producing 12 suitable varieties of the fruit through grafting according to climatic conditions of the region.

Alam: “In 1994, Pakistan had only two varieties of avocados but the number has now improved to 12, of which some are providing more fruit than the mother plants, which will be soon available for commercial farming. Plants of avocados are high in demand.”
Riaz Haq said…
BEIJING: Mulberry is well received in both China and Pakistan. On this kind of fruit that is a little “low-key”, unlike mango or cherry, cooperation between China and Pakistan is also in progress. Chinese seeds and technologies are helping Pakistan elevate its exports of mulberry products. Mulberry tree is a “versatile” plant. Besides fruit, mulberry’s leaves, wood, branches and roots all have their own uses. In particular, mulberry leaves are not only raw materials for tea, but also the main source of feed for silkworms.

“Mulberry leaf tea is popular in China, Japan and Thailand, etc. It has anti-cancer properties. It controls blood sugar. It moderates insulin level. It controls blood pressure in our blood system. It is good for liver, too. It is “miracle tea,” said Malik Mohsin Abbas, Principal Scientist at the Horticulture Research Institute, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute. In Pakistan, fast-growing mulberry trees, from small to medium-sized, are mainly cultivated all over Punjab and KPK.

Pakistan is suitable for developing the mulberry industry especially mulberry tea. Because of the hot climate, it usually takes about merely 10 months for a mulberry tree to grow well. Pakistani people can harvest mulberry leaves several times within one year.

However, not any mulberry leaves can be made into good tea. The quality of mulberry tea depends on leaf varieties, fresh leaf tenderness, production season and processing technology. Generally speaking, only mulberry leaves and buds of certain varieties and high tenderness can become good mulberry tea. The mature mulberry leaves used for sericulture are not suitable for making tea.

In Pakistan, mulberry seeds are mainly imported. According to Pakistani agricultural expert, Chinese seeds perform better in Pakistan than the ones from some other countries.

“Since 2018, we have got the access from China. Now we are importing mulberry seeds from China. The quality of Chinese seeds is better than Bulgarian ones we used to import. The output and resistance are better,” said Muhammad Farooq Bhatti, Deputy Director of Sericulture, Punjab Forest Department Lahore.

After years of research, China has successfully bred special mulberry varieties specifically for making tea and developed more advanced processing technology.

“We have carried out some research on mulberry tea, mainly on the influence of processing technology on the content of active ingredients in mulberry tea, and on the selection of mulberry varieties which are suitable for making tea. I think China and Pakistan can cooperate more in this sector,” Lin Tianbao, Director of Research Center at the Institute of Sericulture, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences told CEN.

For sericulture, Chinese mulberry seeds and technologies have also been introduced overseas like Uzbekistan to help boost local production.

“The way we work with Uzbekistan also applies to Pakistan. In our cooperation with Uzbekistan, we are responsible for selecting new varieties of excellent mulberries and silkworms that are suitable for cultivation and breeding, as well as providing corresponding supporting techniques.”

“Uzbekistan carries out the cultivation and demonstration of mulberry and silkworm varieties according to our requirements, provides test reports in a timely manner, and gives feedback on new problems they meet during production.”

“We send relevant scientific and technical personnel to them from time to time every year to provide technical training, demonstration guidance and technical consultation in mulberry planting, new variety demonstration and promotion, silkworm variety test demonstration, etc., so as to quickly solve problems in production,” Lin Tianbao concluded.

Riaz Haq said…
Sorghum cooperation to enter CPEC

Sorghum is a multi-purpose crop that can play an important role in food and fodder provision. By tapping its potential jointly, China wishes to bring sorghum cooperation into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and benefit the people of both sides.

These views were shared by experts in the Symposium on Sorghum Industry Development of China and Pakistan, organised by the Belt and Road International Institute of Scientific and Technological Innovation of Sorghum Industry, Sorghum Research Institute, Shanxi Agricultural University and National Sorghum Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance, China.

The major use for sorghum is in livestock feed for various animals. Processed sorghum can be used as floating fish food or steam flakes for ruminants at large feedlots.

“In addition, it might be considered as a crop that contributes to food security as it outperforms other cereals under harsh environmental conditions and it is economical to produce,” said Sindh Agriculture University Institute of Food Sciences and Technology Assistant Professor Dr Shahzor Gul.

“They are an important source of food and fodder, especially in the hot and dry areas of the country.”

In environmental conditions that are too harsh for other cereals to produce grains, sorghum is a viable choice. These regions are characterised by erratic distribution of annual rainfall, high mean temperature and depleted soil fertility.

As a tropical plant, it has remarkable adaptability to various climates and soils except saline and waterlogged soils and it can withstand heat and drought stress better than maize.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Sugarcane Yield This Year Will Result in a Big Decrease in Sugar Prices
By Ahsan Gardezi | Published Oct 12, 2021 | 6:33 pm

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Food Security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, revealed on Tuesday that the government expects sugarcane yield to exceed 100 million tonnes this year.

The government estimates to produce 9 million tonnes of sugar with the bumper sugarcane crop, and sugar prices are expected to start declining from 1st November onwards. Presently, the national sugar demand sits at 6.1 million tonnes, but the surplus produce this year will meet the country’s needs for a year and a half, he said.

Detailing the specifics, the SAPM on Food Security explained that the government had taken swift notice of the struggling sugarcane farmers and initiated urgent measures to help address their issues in a timely manner. Moreover, he mentioned the importance of targeted subsidies on basic food items and said the government is taking all possible measures to aptly manage the prices of sugar, ghee, and pulses, to lessen the burden on the people. “Prices of sugar, ghee, and pulses will come down soon like flour prices,” he remarked.

“Sugar will be sold at Rs. 80 or less under the control and monitoring of the government so that no one can sell it at expensive rates,” he said. Further adding, “At present, we are supplying sugar at Rs. 90 per kg, which is much less than the international market. Next year, we will sell sugar at a lower price with a clear difference in the global market.”

The SAPM on Food Security said the government would award numerous incentives for the production of sugarcane, and sugar mills and traders would be able to earn and help configure justified rates for farmers.

He also remarked that the minimum and maximum prices of sugarcane and sugar would be fixed, and the price of all food items would be decided in accordance with the purchasing power of the people.

Riaz Haq said…
Production begins at $6.36m UAE-funded dates project in Panjgur
Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of dates in the world, with a production capacity of 556,000 tons per year.

The UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) has announced to start commercial production at a dates processing factory in Panjgur, Balochistan, which was built at a cost of $6.36 million, the UAE official news agency WAM said.

Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of dates in the world, with a production capacity of 556,000 tons per year. The project was built over an area of 5,710 square metres, adhering to the highest international specifications and standards, in terms of processing, packaging and storing of dates. It includes 15 production lines with a capacity of four tons per hour or more than 32,000 tons per day and contains refrigeration that can store up to 1,500 tons of ready-made dates. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) had funded the project under the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP). Since 2013, total financing that Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) offered for the projects in Pakistan reached $220 million.

Speaking on the occasion, the Director of UAE PAP Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli said the start of production at Panjgur dates processing factory coincides with the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramazan and the urgent need of high quality dates as a main food item at the time of Iftar.

Al Ghafli hailed the support of the UAE’s leadership for the humanitarian programmes and development projects that his organisation has been implementing in Pakistan, highlighting the UAE’s pioneering strategy in the field of humanitarian work. Number of farmers in Balochistan expressed their joy over the opening of Panjgur dates processing factory, which will help them market their date products. The farmers also thanked the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for their support at a difficult time of crises and hardship through the implementation of initiatives and development projects.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Set to Become Olive Council Member

Pakistani government representatives met with officials from the International Olive Council (IOC) in Madrid recently to announce that the South Asian country will become its 19th member.

The IOC’s goal is to plant tens of millions of trees and make Pakistan a relevant olive oil producer in the region. The country is already involved in a multi-year nationwide effort to expand local olive production.

According to Juan Vilar Strategic Consultants, Pakistan produces about 1,500 tons of olive oil per annum and 830 tons of table olives, all of which are destined for domestic consumption.

“Pakistan feels the need to connect with the council as they are developing their olive sector and their internal olive oil consumption grows,” Abdellatif Ghedira, the IOC’s executive director, told Olive Oil Times.

“In Pakistan, olive oil culture is making inroads, and so are the opportunities related to that,” he added. “The council is a decisive player in contributing to the sustainable and responsible development of olive growing, and it serves as a world forum for discussing policymaking issues and tackling present and future challenges.”

The nationwide Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project launched by the government to tackle some of the effects of climate change such as soil erosion and desertification complements the olive expansion projects meant to bring new opportunities to farmers.

The reforestation project, considered by the United Nations one of the most ambitious on a global scale, aims at restoring and enhancing more than one million hectares of forest by the end of 2023.

Today Pakistan’s forest covers only five percent of the country, compared with a 23 percent global average. Planting fruit tree crops, such as olives, is an environmentally and economically-friendly way to achieve this goal.

The second phase of the national olive project, which started 12 years ago, will add 10 million new olive trees in the next three years.

Given the unique characteristics of the olive tree, often thriving in areas way more challenging for other crops, government officials believe that olive farming is an efficient answer both to reforestation needs and economic development.

“A special focus in this phase will be given to underprivileged areas of the country, such as Southern Balochistan, Southern Punjab, the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some parts of Sindh province,” Muhammad Tariq, national project director at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, told Olive Oil Times.

Thanks to cooperation projects with some of the IOC’s European members, such as Spain and Italy, and with foreign support from China, local growers are experimenting with many different olive varieties, such as Pendolino, Frantoio, Picual and Arbequina.


The IOC currently has 18 state members including the European Union. These states account for over 98 per cent of the world's olive production. The following states of the IOC are below (the year of the state's first ratification of one of the Agreements is included; an asterisk indicates that the state was a founding member of the IOOC):

Albania (2009)
Algeria (1963)
Argentina (2009)
Egypt (1964)
European Union*[1]
Georgia (2019)
Iran (2004)
Israel* (1958)
Jordan (2002)
Lebanon (1973)
Libya* (1956)
Montenegro (2007)
Morocco (1958)
Palestine (2017)
Tunisia* (1956)
Turkey (2010)
Uruguay (2013)
Uzbekistan (2021)
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan became largest supplier of potatoes to Uzbekistan

In January 2022, Uzbekistan imported 41,000 tons of potatoes, which is 953 tons or 2.3% less than in that same period of 2021. However, the volume of imports of these products remains high compared to January of previous years; 68% more than in the same period in 2020 and 85% more than in January 2019.

According to the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan, Pakistan became the largest supplier of potatoes in January 2022, its share in total imports amounted to 51% (21.100 tons). Following him in the list of main supplying countries are: Kazakhstan – 21% (8.500 tons), Iran – 10% (4.100 tons), Kyrgyzstan – 7% (3,000 tons) and Afghanistan – 7% (3,000 tons).

In January 2022, potato imports from Kazakhstan in volume terms decreased by 3.7 times compared to 31.400 tons in January 2021. One of the main reasons for such a sharp decline in the exports of these products from Kazakhstan was the decision of the country’s government to temporarily ban potatoes.
Riaz Haq said…
Potatoes are one of the major crops in Pakistan that has high consumption and nutritious value. The initiative has successfully taken several measures to increase the average yield per acre. The potential is huge that would be maximized by using advanced production technology. New scientific knowledge and crop management techniques will help farmers to combat challenges including climate variation, and pest, and disease control. Women’s engagement and capacity building in best agricultural practices including sustainable and safe use of pesticides is the crosscutting edge of the initiative.

The project districts generate over 95 percent of potato production that has started increasing in one year after the significant measures were taken by a team of expert researchers from the Wageningen University, Netherlands. As many as 24 master trainers including 8 women have been trained on a technical manual prepared by the Wageningen University. Some 24 demonstration plots have been established in the project district by the CABI master trainers and Wageningen University experts that represent Dutch best practices in climate-smart potato production. A baseline survey was also conducted to assess current production practices and to identify the constraints and challenges faced by farmers, especially by women farmers in the early stage of the initiative. Seed selection is the key to potato production. More than 600 farmers including women have given on-field training including demonstration plots’ visits.

Advance production practices and crop monitoring is being performed by the district master trainers under the guidance of the CABI and the Wageningen University experts. All the interventions are supported by information material and technical knowledge in the Urdu language. Local government, communities, and other key stakeholders like the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Potato Research Institute, Sahiwal, Department of Agriculture Extension, Potato Research and Development Board, and Potato Growers Cooperative Society Pakistan have been engaged for larger ownership of the best practices and to replicate them.

Several interventions are in pipeline with the support of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and its subordinate organizations. It is just about one major crop – potato production making it climate-smart. Many more shall be on the agenda to make Pakistan a nationally food secure country.

The writer is a freelance journalist and broadcaster, and Director Devcom-Pakistan. He can be reached at and tweets @EmmayeSyed
Riaz Haq said…
Cultivation of potatoes in Pakistan

In recent years, the potato has become a valuable product for both the Pakistani farmer and the consumer. The potato is of high nutritional value and cultivation is particularly sustainable because the potato plant produces more food faster on less land, using less water, than any other important food crop.

Both red and white flesh potato varieties are grown in Pakistan. Most Pakistani farmers depend on certified seed potatoes that ensure a healthy, strong, and virus-free crop.

Succesful varieties
Pakistani farmers have a strong interest in reliable potato varieties from high-quality, certified seed potatoes. The Agrico varieties Constance, Vogue, Kuroda, Esmee, Rudolph and Alouette therefore play an important role in Pakistan. These varieties are grown for the local market and for household consumption. They are an important source of income for local farmers.

Working with high-quality materials helps local farmers to be confident of meeting the specified quality requirements. This frequently opens the doors to interesting export and sales opportunities.

The correct variety properties
The varieties that are used have various advantages. For example, the potatoes have the right properties, such as shape, eye depth, skin and flesh color, dormancy, and flavor. The healthy uniform tubers have good emergence, soil coverage and high yield. The varieties are therefore grown on a large scale. The size of the crop and the number of stems per plant are also important factors for the huge success of this variety.

In addition, our varieties have good drought tolerance, high herbicide tolerance and are resistant to viruses and fungi, such as Phytophthora Infestans, wart disease and PCN (potato cyst nematode). This results in an increase in yields and a reduction in costs because the local farmers have to use fewer crop-protection products, personnel, and machines to keep the crop healthy.

Along with our agent, Stamex International, Agrico has been working for decades on the further development and introduction of our Agrico varieties and, in recent years, we have seen that the Next Generation varieties are also finding their niche.
Riaz Haq said…
Dawar Butt
FYI: Looks like the news about lower #Mango🥭 production in Punjab is false. Crisis averted… production is 1.45 million tonnes this year, compared to 1.32 million tonnes last year. Increase of 10% in South Punjab, overall increase of 9.8%.
Riaz Haq said…
A Heat Wave’s Lamented Victim: The Mango, India’s King of Fruits
Blistering spring temperatures have devastated crops of the country’s most beloved fruit. “The soul of a farmer shudders at seeing these fruitless trees,” one grower said.

India is the world’s largest mango producer, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the global crop. Much of it is consumed domestically, but the country exports tens of millions of dollars’ worth of mangoes each year to the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Germany and the United States. Over the past decade, India has been trying to penetrate markets in other European Union countries as well.

In the past, export growth has been limited by the higher costs of Indian mangoes compared with those from countries like Brazil, Peru, Israel and Pakistan. India has been striving to increase productivity, which would lower costs.

Even before the extreme heat, India’s mango exports had been badly damaged by the supply chain disruptions of the pandemic, with shipments abroad shrinking by almost 50 percent last year. India’s top export organization had hoped for a big turnaround this year as the Indian and U.S. governments eased trade rules.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's mango production to fall by 50% due to heatwave, water shortage

KARACHI, Pakistan, May 26 (Reuters) - Pakistan's mango production is expected to decline by around 50% this year, as the crop has been severely hit by unusually high temperatures and water shortages, the chief of a growers' and exporters' association said.
Riaz Haq said…
Farmdar, a #Pakistani #agritech #startup raises $1.3 million in seed round. It will provide data to increase farm output. #Pakistan is among the world’s top 10 producers of essential crops such as #sugarcane, #wheat & #rice, but it ranks 50th in yield

Farmdar uses deep-tech with high-res, multi-band satellite imagery to create actionable data for farmers and corporates. This data has a direct result on the efficiency and profitability of farmers and corporates.

The round has been led by Indus Valley Capital with participation by strategic investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and US, including Deosai Ventures, Tricap Investments, United Distributors Pakistan Limited, The Community Fund VC, LMKR and K2 Global Ventures.

Launched in 2021 by childhood friends Muhammed Bukhari, Muzaffar Manghi and Ibrahim Bokhari who himself is a third-generation large farmer, the Farmdar journey began when the founders started exporting produce and discovered that Pakistani produce was considered low quality in the UK and UAE markets. The founders vowed to do something about it.

“We looked at supply chain improvements first, like cold chain, which allowed us to extend shelf life but our underlying quality was still poor. We then tried remote sensing and precision agriculture technology and it created a step change in quality and yield whilst reducing our input costs” said Ibrahim.

“Pakistan is amongst the top 10 producers in the world for essential crops such as sugarcane, wheat and rice, yet in terms of yield we rank 50th or below. It’s a massive yield gap. Farmdar is in a unique position to help increase yield and quality while reducing farming costs and minimizing waste. Pakistan is well placed to be a regional and global agricultural leader. The starting point for agricultural excellence is data and insight that can be actioned upon, accurately and quickly. That’s where Farmdar comes in.” quotes Manghi.

In light of a rapidly growing global population, the agritech’s vision is to create a food secure world and empower farmers in Pakistan with technology to gain control over their produce and its true value. Inherently, there is a human impact, and to that end many data-points for individual farmers will be free of cost, as is registration on the Farmdar web-app. Corporate farms, food processors, food companies and mills requiring more elaborate data and insight will be engaged with bespoke solutions and subscriptions.

By virtue of yield increase with waste and input reduction, Farmdar’s data also helps reduce the impact of agricultural activity on climate change. Farmdar is the only agritech in Pakistan to be a part of the Greentech Alliance.

“Simply using more land to grow more food isn’t the solution, it’s devastating for climate change” quotes the Muhammed. “Farmdar uses artificial intelligence to create data that helps optimize crop productivity by increasing yield, reducing harvest loss and input costs and monitoring diseases. We knew that this data was of immense value, but were surprised to see the widespread appetite for data both on the individual farmer and the corporate side. Accurate data at scale doesn’t really exist in Pakistan”.

Farmdar’s use of technology with remote sensing through satellites makes their growth scalable and aligns with the vision to solve a global problem of agricultural sustainability. The funding will not only enable Farmdar to scale rapidly across Pakistan and hire and develop the very best tech talent, but also apply use cases from Pakistan in foreign markets such as Thailand, Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Philippines and across the Middle East.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #poultry industry growing 10-12% a year. 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. The industry produces 1.3 million tons of #chicken meat annually. #food #protein #calories via @Profitpk

Poultry is one of the fastest-growing industries in Pakistan with investments of about Rs1.1 trillion.

According to the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) report, the industry is the largest agro-based segment, generating employment and income for about 1.5 million people directly and indirectly.

The sector is growing at a fast pace of 10-12% per annum. At present, around Rs190 billion worth of agriculture products are being used by the poultry industry, speeding up the growth in the agriculture sector.

There are estimated 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with their capacity ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. Pakistan’s poultry industry produces 1,245 million kilograms of chicken meat annually.

Ali Hasnain, a supervisor of the poultry sector, said that Pakistan’s poultry industry was no less than the international standards. “The poultry industry meets 50% of the total demand for meat in the country, and the rest is met by other meat products like beef, mutton and fish.”

“With the introduction of advanced technologies, more investments are coming around to cater to market needs and earn handsome revenues,” said Ali Hasnain, adding the poultry industry still had a lot of potential to contribute to the economy.

As per the PPA report, meat consumption per capita in Pakistan is less than the developed countries. The consumption of meat and eggs per capita is 6.2 kilograms and 56 eggs annually. In the developed world, the per capita meat consumption is 40 kilograms and 300 eggs annually.

According to the World Health Organisation, a person needs 27 grams of animal protein per day, while most people in Pakistan only consume 17 grams.

To meet the international standards of meat consumption, the supply and production need to be increased and prices need to be brought down so that consumers can get the required meat and egg consumption levels. An increase in production will certainly require more investments in the industry.

To boost production and bring down product rates, imports of poultry-related equipment should be exempted from duties and taxes.

In addition, as growers increasingly need land to establish sheds, the government should provide state land to investors at nominal rates to generate investments and more production.

Haniful Hassan, owner of a poultry farm, said that the current increase in prices of chicken was due to rise in prices of poultry feed. “The price of a feedbag has risen by 900 per bag in the last five months. We want the government to bring down the poultry feed rates to offset the price spiral,” he added.

Haniful Hassan called for establishing poultry research institutes, production directorates and a federal poultry board to provide research and training to farmers.

The government should also ensure easy availability of loans to people related to the industry.
Riaz Haq said…
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help address the looming food security challenge of Pakistan by introducing modern farming to enhance the country’s yield through agricultural cooperation, a government official has said.

Pakistan has realized that food security is an important component of national security, and agribusiness is being promoted through more investments in the agriculture sector, which will be further enhanced under the CPEC framework, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a top official of ministry of planning, development and special initiative, told Xinhua in a recent interview. “As a part of improving food security, this year we are investing more in the water sector and the agriculture sector to increase our yield … all these sectors are strengths of China, which has shown great performance and productivity,” he added.

Talking about the potential of his country’s agriculture sector, the official said that it is a big producer of milk, vegetables and fruits, but a huge chunk of it goes wasted due to the unavailability of processing units and the supply chain.

Chinese investors can tap the potential of the sector as they invested in other sectors, he said. The secretary said that his country is committed to CPEC, and no matter which political party is in power, there is a joint consensus that the project is important for the economic development of Pakistan. CPEC is a multifaceted program that catered to the needs of Pakistan, including the most urgent and pressing demand to meet the electricity needs of the country that was facing up to 18 hours of load shedding when CPEC was introduced, he said. Shah noted that CPEC invoked a new life to the economic development of Pakistan by bringing large foreign direct investment (FDI) through different projects.

Talking about CPEC’s role in the overall development of Pakistan, he said that it started off with infrastructure, followed by a new phase of industrialization which is going to be started in the special economic zones (SEZs) under the framework of CPEC. “FDI in SEZs has played a great role in the countries which were short of capital … China being one of the largest investors in the world is our close friend, so we are hopeful that the Chinese investment will contribute a lot to the economic development of Pakistan,” Shah said.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan growers hope to increase cherry presence in China

On the online shopping platforms, cherries imported from overseas have been well received by Chinese consumers, of which mostly are from Chile. Cherry growers from Pakistan also want a part of this market, which is one of the largest consumer markets in the world.

Wang Zhihua, General Manager, Shaanxi Jinguo Cherry Industrial Development Co., Ltd. stated: “Pakistani cherry looks quite good and the color turns dark when it matures. At present, cherries of dark color are especially loved by Chinese customers.” More importantly, there is a time difference of 10 to 15 days between most Chinese cherries and foreign cherries’ maturity. Therefore, if Pakistani cherries can enter the Chinese market, there’re profitable opportunities.

So far the cherry planting area in Pakistan has exceeded 2,500 hectares, and Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan are the two main cherry-producing places. The former region produces 4,000 tons of cherry per season, and local consumption is limited. If GB’s cherries can enter China, the export value can be huge.
Riaz Haq said…
FAO in Pakistan

Pakistan at a Glance,to%20the%20country's%20total%20GDP.

Pakistan is also amongst the world’s top ten producers of wheat, cotton, sugarcane, mango, dates and kinnow oranges, and is ranked 10th in rice production. Major crops (wheat, rice, cotton and sugar cane) contribute around 4.9 per cent, while minor crops contribute 2.1 percent to the country’s total GDP.
Livestock sector contributes 11 per cent to the country’s GDP (60.5 per cent in agriculture sector) and employs approximately 35 million people. Fisheries and forestry sectors each contribute an estimated 0.4 per cent to the GDP (2.1 per cent in agriculture sector).
Despite its impressive and continuously growing agricultural production, the country is still facing high levels of food insecurity. According to a global report published jointly by FAO, WFP, UNICEF, WHO and IFAD in 2019, 20.3 per cent of Pakistan’s population (40.0 million people) is undernourished/food insecure. The prevalence of malnutrition amongst children aged 6-59 months is also very high, with an estimated 40% children stunted, 28% underweight, 18% wasted and 10% overweight. Further, around one-fourth (24 per cent) of the country’s population is living below national poverty line and 39.0 per cent is poor based on multidimensional poverty index (MPI).

Riaz Haq said…
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $200 million in financing to support Pakistan in transforming the agricultural sector by adopting climate-smart technologies to improve water-use efficiency, build resilience to extreme weather events and increase incomes of small farmers.

The agricultural sector in Punjab is central to the Pakistan’s economy and food security as it accounts for 73 percent of the country’s total food production. The Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation Project (PRIAT) will increase agricultural productivity through efficient and equitable access to water for small farms. It will support farmers at the community and household levels to adopt climate-smart farming practices and technologies that improve crop yields and conserve water resources in Punjab.

“In recent years Pakistan’s agriculture sector has suffered from losses in crop yields and livestock, damage to irrigation infrastructure, and food shortages due to climate change, particularly severe droughts in the Punjab province,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “This project aligns with the Punjab Agriculture Policy 2018, which promotes massive expansion of water conservation efforts, enhancing sustainability and resilience in the wake of climate change, and private sector participation to help boost the productivity of the sector.”

PRIAT will support farmers implement innovative, climate-smart technologies to help the Punjab government achieve economies of scale to transform the agricultural sector. The project will engage the private sector in sourcing appropriate technologies and providing training tailored for water user associations and individual households to improve water conservation practices and agriculture productivity.

“The agriculture sector has a huge opportunity to both build climate resilience and improve economic conditions by generating access to domestic and international markets,” said Guo Li, Task Team Leader for the project. “PRIAT will help accelerate the government’s efforts to transform the agri-food system through market-oriented production activities that add value, increase competitiveness and generate higher incomes for farmers.”

The project will benefit about 190,000 small, family-owned farms and 1.4 million acres of irrigated land in rural communities in the province. It will also provide training to small- and medium-sized farm owners on water conservation and more sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural practices, including for women. About 74 percent of women in the province rely on agriculture as a source of livelihood.

The World Bank in Pakistan

Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $40 billion in assistance. The World Bank’s program in Pakistan is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2015-2020 with four priority areas of engagement: energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery. The current portfolio has 60 projects and a total commitment of $14.2 billion.

Riaz Haq said…
Global Markets: Rice – Pakistan Export Forecast Rises to Record While Importing More Wheat

2021/22 Pakistan rice exports are forecast up 450,000 tons to 4.8 million, almost 30 percent higher than the previous year. Favorable export conditions are expected to continue as large stocks, competitive export prices, and strong demand from key markets are expected to spur exports further to 4.9 million tons in 2022/23.

Pakistan retains ample supplies following two consecutive record crops, despite hot and dry conditions delaying the 2022 May/June planting season. The Pakistan Meteorological Department forecasts ample monsoon rains which are expected to be beneficial for this season’s harvest.

In addition to favorable weather and market conditions, abundant supplies, and the devaluation of the Pakistani rupee have kept its prices globally competitive. Over the past year, Pakistani rice prices have closely mirrored Indian prices, which have been extremely low for almost 2 years; however, strong export demand has caused Pakistani quotes to spike in recent weeks.

Pakistan’s top export markets include a diverse group of countries to which it exports different rice varieties, including fragrant long-grain basmati, regular milled, and broken rice. In recent years, Pakistan has emerged as a major supplier to China, the world’s largest rice importing and consuming country.

In fact, in the first few months of 2022, Pakistan exported more rice to China than Vietnam, the historic top supplier. Pakistan exports both milled rice and broken rice to China, the latter primarily used in feed. Pakistan also exports competitively priced milled rice to East Africa – particularly Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania – and neighboring countries in Central Asia, mainly Afghanistan.

Pakistan is also a producer and exporter of basmati rice, a premium product known for its aromatic qualities. Demand for basmati rice has grown in recent years, especially in the European Union and the Middle East. While still facing stiff competition from India, the top global basmati exporter, Pakistan is a significant basmati supplier to the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.

Rice is an important food in Pakistan; however, wheat is the principal grain consumed domestically. Unfortunately, the same hot and dry planting conditions that delayed planting of the 2022 rice crop in Punjab and Sindh provinces have adversely affected Pakistan’s wheat production.

This month, Pakistan’s 2022/23 wheat import forecast has been raised 500,000 tons to 2.5 million as the government has aggressively procured international and domestic wheat. Historically, the government intervenes heavily in wheat production, marketing, and trade to ensure sufficient supplies of a commodity critical to food security.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan: Fruits exports up 27.69%, vegetables up 31.47%

The exports of fruits from Pakistan increased by 27.69 percent during the first five months of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The exports of fruits during July-November (2021-22) were recorded at $177.316 million against the exports of $138.859 million in July-November (2020-21), showing growth of 27.69 percent, according to the date of Pakistan Bureau of statistics (PBS).

Meanwhile, the vegetable exports from the country also went up by 31.47 percent by increasing from $77.146 million last year to $101.423 million during the ongoing fiscal year.

On year-on-year basis, the fruits exports from the country increased by 62.35 percent by going up from $20.758 million during November 2020 to $33.700 million in November 2021. On month-on-month basis, the fruit exports, increased by 15.25 percent in November 2021 compared to the exports of $29.242 million in October 2021.
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Maersk and SEED Ventures collaborate to improve agricultural exports from Pakistan

July 28, 2022

By Jack Donnelly

Maersk Pakistan Private Limited (Maersk) and SEED Ventures have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the Pakistan Agripreneurship Challenge (PAC).

PAC is an Agri-value chain intervention challenge that aims to improve the quality of Pakistan’s agricultural produce and explore new global markets for Pakistan’s agriculture exporters.

In 2020, Pakistan produced 5.6 million metric tons of vegetables, of which the resulting export produce amounted to $4.92 million. In contrast, the Netherlands producing 5.3 million metric tons of vegetables, could export $31 billion worth of produce.

The comparison, Maersk argues, showcases Pakistan is not meeting its export potential for vegetables.

Issues pertaining to storage, transport & distribution are significant roadblocks for the Agri sector, and Maersk claims it is evident that a holistic value chain intervention is required for the post-harvest category.

PAC is an agripreneurship challenge that calls upon Agri ventures, innovators, farmers and agriculture students to participate and develop innovative solutions to solve the post-harvest challenges in Pakistan for vegetable produce.

The shortlisted finalists from the challenge will be given the opportunity to realise their innovative agripreneurship solutions by Maersk and SEED.

The 20 July collaboration signed between SEED Ventures and Maersk aims to identify potential solutions to support Pakistan in meeting its export potential.

Hasan Faraz, Managing Director, Maersk Pakistan, commented: “At Maersk, our purpose is to improve life for all by integrating the world. We are delighted to partner with SEED Ventures and contribute to improving Pakistan’s agricultural sector.”
Riaz Haq said…
The (Pakistan) government is working on a policy that will not only reduce dependence on imported palm oil but also facilitate and support farmers to grow oilseed crops, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Tariq Bashir Cheema, said on Tuesday.

At a press conference, Mr Cheema said the government has decided to take short- to long-term policy measures for the uplift of the agriculture sector, focusing on encouraging the farming community to bring more area under cultivation with the ultimate objective of achieving self-sufficiency in all the major crops and reducing the country’s import bill for certain agricultural products.

The country is currently spending $4.5 billion annually on the import of palm oil, and it is expected that the import bill for this commodity will increase to $6bn next year.

The minister said spending $1bn on the import of three million tonnes of wheat and $6bn on importing palm oil in a year is a big loss of foreign exchange, which is a matter of grave concern.

“The present government has revised the procurement targets for the procurement of wheat by the Punjab government and Passco, which have been achieved. In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and the pressure built on the countries of the Central Asian Republic on their exports, the government has attained sufficient wheat stock to avoid the imposition of any emergency,” he added.

The minister said that the support price for wheat, being the important staple food crop, will be announced well ahead of the rabi season so that farmers will be able to have their own production estimates while keeping in view the market trends.

As far as cotton is concerned, Mr Cheema said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has already formed a special committee headed by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to formulate a recommendation as to how to incentivise cotton growers so that the lost area under cotton cultivation should be revived.

The intervention price for cotton will be set keeping in view of the price in the international market so that cotton growers should not face any loss, he said.

As part of the long-term policy measure, the government has decided to solarise all the 1.2m tube wells that are run on electricity. Once solarised, the agricultural tube wells will be 100 per cent free of electricity.

The special committee has proposed that bank financing on easy instalments be offered to farmers, and in this regard, the government is currently negotiating with commercial banks, he said.

He said that all agricultural inputs have been made tax free, and while referring to the availability of tractors, he was of the view that farmers should get tractors from banks on lease financing, as in the case of leasing of vehicles. This will help eliminate the profit of middlemen.

The minister said that Pakistan and China will shortly sign an agreement on buffalo breed improvement.
Riaz Haq said…
Nestlé Pakistan Brings Sustainable Growth to Apple Growing in Gilgit Baltistan

Nestlé, in collaboration with the Agriculture Department of Gilgit Baltistan and local support organizations, is working closely with small-sized local apple growers in the region to diversify their products and improve their livelihoods by increasing horticulture production through good agriculture practices including tree pruning, pest management, and post-harvest management.

Note: Nestle Pakistan produces and sells apple juice in Pakistan (Nestle Fruita Vitals Nectar Apple)

Safoora Bibi, our apple farmer in Hunza, supplies high quality apples to Nestlé Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Country has potential to meet 95% of tea demand
Researcher says tea plantation can be promoted through cooperative farming, subsidies

Pakistan has huge potential to become self-sufficient in the tea sector. If planted on an additional 2,000 hectares of land offered by the government and invested by private companies, it can meet 95% of the national demand, said Dr Abdul Waheed, Director of National Tea and High Value Crop Research Institute, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) said in an interview with the China Economic Net (CEN).

“We have done much research in collaboration with China. The tea research institute was also built on the recommendation of Chinese researchers and was later renamed as National Tea and High Value Crop Research Institute,” he said and underlined the need to follow commercialisation.

Pakistan’s heavy reliance on import of tea calls for enhancing the local production capacity. During 2021, Pakistan imported 2,258,000 kg of black and green tea for $596 million.

In the first three quarters (July-March) of fiscal year 2021-22, tea imports recorded an increase of 11.95% as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

“We have 64,000 hectares of land suitable for tea plantation. But so far only less than 80 hectares are dedicated for tea plantation. We must use at least 2,000 to 10,000 hectares under public-private partnership in the first year,” he recommended.

“We should rely on our capacity of four million plants per annum, rather than import,” he told CEN.

“Tea plantation can be promoted through cooperative farming and government subsidies. Private farmers have their own land and need incentives from the government.”

Providing incentives like interest-free loans to growers during the gestation period is also a practice adopted by China.

Riaz Haq said…
‘Pakistan produces 15,750 metric tonnes of honey’
International honey bee moot held in Multan

The Institute of Plant Protection, MNS Unversity of Agriculture, Multan held the International Honey Bee Conference on “Bee Pollination Under Climate Change Scenario” via webinar on Thursday.

Federal Minister on National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam was invited as the chief guest at the event. The minister said, “Pakistan has great potential for beekeeping due to a diverse bee flora and suitable environmental conditions. Honeybees are an essential component of modern agriculture and economy.”

Beekeeping and honey production is becoming a profitable business in Pakistan along with being an eco-friendly practice.

Pakistan has three species of native Apis and one exotic honeybee.

Currently, there are about 10,000 beekeepers in Pakistan managing almost 1.1 million Apis mellifeca colonies. Annual honey production is about 15,750 metric tonnes in the country.

Pakistan ranks 20th in the world for honey production and 34th in honey export.

Beekeeping in Pakistan is mainly focused in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and central and north regions of Punjab but nowadays it is growing rapidly due to the demand for honey and its byproducts locally and internationally.

Plant diversity is directly dependent upon pollination success and vice versa, thus understanding the management of pollinators is very impotent.
Riaz Haq said…
Beekeepers reap a dividend from the government's programme to expand forests, as honey production rises


Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that nurturing the relationship between trees and bees is a priority for the 10 Billion Trees project.

He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that in several honey-producing areas the project is planting bee-friendly trees such as the indigenous bari tree - also known as ziziphus mauritiana or jujube.

The tree's honey is sought after for its low glucose content, which makes it less likely to crystallise, he said.

But Syed Mahmood Nasir, head of the Islamabad-based Nature Clicks Institution, a non-profit focused on the environment and anthropology, warned that growing Pakistan's honey industry is not as simple as planting more trees.

Authorities need to be clear on whether they want a replanted forest to produce wild or farmed honey, with each requiring different management and resources, explained Nasir, who was formerly the government's inspector-general of forests.

Either way, "they should ensure that no pesticides are used within at least 10 miles of the forest", he added.

For Changa Manga beekeeper Hussain, Pakistan's bee-boosting reforestation efforts make him optimistic he can carry on the business his father has been running for the last 45 years.

Hussain fondly recalled a childhood spent watching his dad extract honey straight from the beehives to give to customers.

"My biggest motivation for this work is that my father has had a special affection for honey since he was a boy and he doesn't want this fondness to end," he said.

"We will do it generation by generation. As long as the forest is there, honey is there."


When authorities started planting millions of trees in eastern Pakistan's Changa Manga Forest five years ago, the idea was to bring back life to forest land that had been destroyed by illegal logging, water scarcity and fires.

Now that the trees have matured, they are having an even sweeter side-effect - helping to boost the local bee population and honey production in the area.

As part of Pakistan's efforts to offset the impacts of climate change by rehabilitating forests, conserving soil and improving water management, 3.5 million trees were planted on 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) in Changa Manga, known as one of the world's largest man-made forests, near the city of Lahore.

Beekeepers in the plantation said they are now harvesting up to 70% more honey than before the greening project started in 2014, as the trees provide a habitat for bees and create conditions for a growing diversity of plants and flowers.

"As more of the plantation has been created, our honey production has kept on increasing," said Bilal Hussain, a beekeeper in Changa Manga whose father runs the forest's honey operations.

"We will get even more income over the next four to five years," Hussain said excitedly, as he extracted honey from a piece of honeycomb to pack into bottles to sell at his shop.

The amount of honey harvested by beekeepers in the 12,500-acre forest almost doubled from 725 kg (1,600 pounds) in the fiscal year 2018-2019 to about 1,300 kg in 2019-2020, said forest officer Shahid Tabassum.

And the amount of sticky stuff coming out of Changa Manga is estimated to keep rising to about 2,000 kg in the next fiscal year, Tabassum added.

The old forest had three main species of trees, to which at least seven have been added, he noted.

"The forest cover plays an important role in the increase of honey production because honeybees get shelter, shade and water from the trees," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Riaz Haq said…
Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "Pakistan's Biggest Food Import: Cooking Oil Worth $4.5 Billion Worsens Trade Deficit":

From Wheat Exporter to Wheat Importer
Dr. Muhammad Shahbaz
July 17, 2022
The writer is research fellow at University of Cambrdige, UK and Professor at Biejing Institue of Technlogy China.

The agricultural sector is one of the largest contributors to the economy. While declining as a proportion of GDP, agriculture still contributes one-fifth of Pakistan’s wealth and almost half the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. With 79.6 million acres of arable land, there is a great potential for improving efficiencies and productivity of the agriculture sector. The crop sector is an important sector of the economy which provides food to rapidly growing population of the country. The major crops consist of six main crops: wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, chickpea and cotton. Wheat is Pakistan’s largest crop, in terms of area sown and is grown under different agro-ecological zones. Wheat flour currently contributes 72% of Pakistan’s daily caloric intake with per capita wheat consumption of around 124 kilograms (kg) per year, one of the highest in the world. In irrigated areas, wheat is planted after cotton, rice, and sugarcane, while in rain fed areas wheat is grown at the same time as maize and millet. The sowing of wheat takes place from October to December and harvests from March to May. Approximately 80% of farmers grow it on an area of around 9 million hectares (close to 40% of the country’s total cultivated land) during the winter.

Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world. Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is one of the first domesticated food crops and has been the basic staple food of the major civilizations of Europe, West Asia and North Africa for last 8000 years. Approximately one sixth of the total arable land in the world is under wheat. It is most demanded food grain and its production leads all crops, including rice, maize and potatoes. In Pakistan, wheat being the main staple food cultivated on the largest acreages. Pakistan falls in ten major wheat-producing countries of the world in terms of area under wheat cultivation, total production and yield per hectare. Wheat is the essential diet of population as it constitutes 60% of the daily diet of common man in Pakistan and average per capita consumption is about 125 kg and occupies a central position in agricultural policies of the government. Based on cropping pattern, disease prevalence and climate, Pakistan has been divided into a ten production zones. However, production zones need to be revisited. In Pakistan, wheat is grown in different cropping systems, such as; cotton wheat, rice wheat, sugarcane wheat, maize wheat, fallow wheat. Of these, Cotton-Wheat and Rice-Wheat systems together account about 60% of the total wheat area whereas rain-fed wheat covers more than 1.50 m ha area. Rotations with Maize-Sugarcane, Pulses and fallow are also important.

Riaz Haq said…
'Sweeter than honey': Inside the underground quest for the perfect mango
Hira Qureshi
Cherry Hill Courier-Post

The message arrives from an unknown number on WhatsApp at about 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening.

Hi, regarding the mangoes …

I text back quickly for clarification.

Are you the lady getting mangoes from Nauman?

Yep, she responds instantly.

My heart leaps with joy. Just a 20-minute drive away, my box of Pakistani mangoes is here.

Would my contact be a local auntie dressed in a salwar kameez (traditional Pakistani garb)? Or would she be a 20-something like me, eager to get a taste of the beloved Chaunsa mangoes that had flown across the Pacific Ocean from Multan, Pakistan? Whoever she is, I think, I'm grateful she kindly scooped up a box for me on her trip to the mango middleman — Nauman Chaudary — in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Chaudary became the middleman for mangoes in the Atlantic region when his friends and neighbors heard he was making trips to airports to pick up boxes from a mango supplier.

The West Chester resident told me about his journey to becoming the mango middleman earlier that week when I reached out for a story on how these mangos have built a local cult following.

People in his neighborhood would say, "Hey, if I get 12 boxes, we can share two" and that's how it all began.

“And then this year, we kind of ended up going a little bit further. I said, ‘OK, let's just do a little bigger project and let’s see how it works out,'" Chaudary said.

When shipments arrive, Chaudary sends out Facebook posts or WhatsApp messages for those interested in a box or three. The posts offer the brass tacks of what's in the box and when it's ready for pick up for those familiar with the magic of the mangoes. His Facebook post on a local South Jersey group is how I ended up at a young doctor’s home near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“Our next shipment of Pakistani mangoes date is July 13th IA (Inshallah or God willing), we are getting Chaunsa from Multan,” he had posted. “If anyone (would) like to order, please send me message with number of boxes. Cost of mangoes are $40 per box. Box is 2 kg, 4.4lbs, Chaunsa 5-6 pieces.”

Waiting outside her home, my anticipation builds. My parents grew up joyfully devouring these mangos, but I had never tried them until now. My heritage was waiting in the shape of a yellow-skinned fruit right behind the door.

After about 10 minutes, the door opens and a woman in light blue scrubs hands me a medium-sized box wrapped in green tape with a quick, “Here ya go! Hope you enjoy them.”

The exchange is brief, but my excitement is palpable. I smile down at the box in my hands.

I rip the box open immediately, and my friend along for the drive notes the honey-like smell that wafts from the oval-shaped mangoes tucked in little netted cozies.

The next day, we gorge on the luscious fruit while sitting on beach towels at Stone Harbor beach.

Incredibly sweet and bursting with juice, these mangoes are a revelation. They help me understand the devotion and reverence for the natural sugar bombs grown in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh inspire and the love expressed in everything from mango kulfi (traditional ice cream) to romantic verses by famous poets like Mirza Ghalib who had a special fondness for the fruit.

The cultural significance of this glorious fruit is even referenced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an episode of “Ms. Marvel,” Kamala Khan chats with her Nani (maternal grandmother) in Pakistan over FaceTime, and Nani gets distracted by the mango man who’s brought his cart outside her home.

The poet Mirza Ghalib is reputed to have said: “Mangoes need to have two qualities: they need to be sweet, and there needs to be plenty."
Riaz Haq said…
Bilal I Gilani
Milk 🥛 production in Pakistan from 37 million tonne to 49 million tonne in one decade

About 30% increase in ten years

Eggs see almost 80% increase

Poultry more than 100% increase

Mutton and beef about 35% increase

Supply - demand gap explains relative price gain
Riaz Haq said…
Last year Pakistan exported 125,000 million tonnes of the fruit. The country’s average production of mangoes is 1.8 million tonnes.

Pakistan is among the five top growers and exporters of mangoes in the world. Pakistani mangoes are much in demand in foreign countries for their taste, flavour and size. In recent years, the situation brought about by climate change has rendered the cultivation of mangoes unprofitable in various parts of the country. This is forcing cultivators of mangoes to cut mango trees on a large scale in order to switch from horticulture to agriculture.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan eyes China to boost potato industry
Envoy says Islamabad ranks among largest potato producers in world

“Local consumption is around 4 to 5 million tons. We will have a good surplus quantity to export to regional countries,” he (Commercial Counsellor of Pakistan Embassy in Beijing Badaruz Zaman) told China Economic Net.

“We have also taken up the issue with the Chinese government. In Pakistan, we are introducing machinery from China in many processing plants.”


Prices of fries and preserved well-shelved potatoes are extremely high compared with the potato on farm, therefore “we need to improve the whole process,” Zaman said.

He added that China has achieved a very high yield per hectare owing to its high-yielding varieties of seeds and efficiency. Post-harvest processing in China is also impressive as the country uses machinery and the process is highly mechanised.

Similar things, if introduced in Pakistan, will help the country take potato production a step further, he said.

“We are using archaic methods and too much labour is involved as the processes are manual. The main issue is the lack of mechanisation. We also need cold storage to increase the shelf life but we lack the grading machinery.”

Potato Growers Association Vice President Chaudhry Maqsood Ahmad Jutt, who is also Chairman of Potato Research and Development Board, told China Economic Net that in Pakistan, seven districts of Punjab including Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Khanewal, Vehari, and Multan contribute more than 60% of potato produced in Pakistan.

Chakwal is one of the booming destinations for potato cultivation as well, he said, adding that high production in these areas is mainly due to better irrigation facility.

“Pakistan lacks an efficient seed supply system, new varieties of seeds, technical capacity and training of farmers and it has inadequate resource allocation to seed systems,” he said.

“The cost of imported seeds is high and most farmers rely on poor quality seed due to shortage of funds, which results in poor yield and China intends to help us in all these areas.”

Jutt is convinced that China is a huge market for Pakistani potatoes because the price of potatoes is higher in China, especially from January to April while the potato crop is being cultivated in Pakistan during this period and it is available at a lower price.

He added that Pakistan already fulfills all international standards and exports potatoes to almost all continents, but he believes that with the help of China, the country can further improve the quality and per acre production.

Riaz Haq said…
China large importer of Pakistani pine nuts | The Express Tribune

Pakistani pine nuts’ exports to China in the first seven months of this year crossed US $41.48 million, according to the official data from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC). Data from GACC showed that during January-July of 2022, China imported 3,770.76 tons of pine nuts from Pakistan worth $41.48 million while in the same period, China imported 11,513.7 tons of pine nuts around the world valuing about $88.020 million.

Overall, China has imported $88.020 million of pine nuts and out of that 47.12% is from Pakistan. Yar Muhammad Niazi, Chief Executive of Hangzhou Aiza Food, and Shaoxing Aiza Trading said that the export of Pakistani pine nuts to China enjoys zero tariffs and Pakistani pine nuts are classified as high-end snacks in the Chinese market, CEN reported. “The overall price of Pakistani pine nuts in the Chinese market is on the rise.

This year’s season will start in late September and our target is to export 1,500 tons to China. China is a big market and we need to do B2B cooperation to capture a larger part of this market,” Niazi said. He said that for the last two year the price remained low, valuing ¥130-140 per KG, while this year’s price is expected to go a little higher. They are now working on the value addition of this product and launching a new brand. Pakistani and Chinese governments should support Pakistani enterprises to participate in the exhibitions here to increase Pakistan’s exports to China, he added.

“China is one of the biggest buyers of pine nuts from Pakistan and even during the epidemic the Chinese government played a very vital role in having flexible policies in trade with Pakistan and that’s the reason why so far we have been successful to export pine nuts to China in huge quantity,” said Qadir Baloch, a pine nuts exporter hailing from Balochistan. Baloch, whose family has been associated with the pine nuts business for the last 55 years said that in the last few years China has become the main destination for Pakistani pine nuts and that is why local exporters are happy that they can earn a good profit from the neighbouring market
Riaz Haq said…
According to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, overall world pine nut production followed a growing trend in the last 10 years, in spite of its irregular nature. World pine nut kernel production reached 23 thousand tonnes in the 2017-2018 season. In the last five years, global production amounted to an average of 26.4 thousand tonnes.
In 2017-2018, China was the top producer with 39% of global production, followed by North Korea, Pakistan and Afghanistan with 13% each.,and%20Afghanistan%20with%2013%25%20each.


Most of the pine nuts in European trade are sourced from China. In addition to the many species of pine nuts produced in China, Chinese processing plants also import unshelled pine nuts from Mongolia, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia, then process and re-export them as Chinese pine nuts.
European imports of pine nuts from China have almost doubled in the last five years. Imports from China increased from 5.2 thousand tonnes in 2013 to 9.5 thousand tonnes in 2017.
Germany was Europe’s second largest supplier of pine nuts in 2017. Usually, Pakistan is the second largest supplier of pine nuts to Europe. In 2017, imports from Pakistan were relatively low due to a small crop.
Out of the leading external suppliers of pine nuts to Europe, Russia showed the most significant average annual growth at 68%, thus gaining some market share from China and Pakistan. However, Russia still has a small share of the European pine nut market at around 3%.
Riaz Haq said…
Import/Export Trends
Pakistan is a net exporter of nuts. The annual growth of Pakistan nuts in value between 2015 to 2019 was 12%, per year, while annual growth in quantity for the same period was 10%, per annum.

Pakistan procured 87 tonnes of nuts in 2019.

The production of nuts in Pakistan was 3,185 tonnes in 2019 and is forecast to change by an average of -4.18%. The country had an estimated 3,322.00 hectares under nuts cultivation.,3%2C322.00%20hectares%20under%20nuts%20cultivation.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan ranks 17th among the top almond producing countries of the world by cultivating almond on about 10 thousand ha and producing 22 thousand tonnes.


The Pakistani pine nut has the biggest kernel size in the world and, according to FAO data, Pakistan is the fifth-largest producer of pine nuts, meeting around 15 percent of the world's demand for the dry fruit. The pine nuts grown in the Sulaiman range make up 74 percent of the country's total production.

Besides its breathtaking views, the Sulaiman mountain range, which lies between Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, is also known for the world’s largest chilghoza (pine nuts) forest on higher elevations. The 26,000-hectare forest produces around 640,000 kilogrammes of chilghozas annually, according to an estimate provided by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).


695 tons of pistachios produced in Pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
Al-Shaheer Corporation Limited (ASC), a major meat exporter, on Tuesday announced that it has become the first local company to sign a business relationship agreement with McDonald's Pakistan for the supply of beef products.

The company, in a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), said the beef products would be supplied through its frozen food facility located in Lahore.

“It is our great pleasure to announce that ASC is the first-ever Pakistani company to enter into a business relationship agreement with McDonald's Pakistan for the supply of beef products,” it said in the PSX notice.
Riaz Haq said…
Cows and chillies – the CPEC plan to revamp agriculture and livestock
China will assist Pakistan in producing embryos of high-milk yielding cows and in setting up contract-farms growing high-yield chilis.

What does CPEC have to do with agriculture?

The concept is very simple. In Pakistan, there are a few critical problems that hamper agriculture, livestock, and all manner of produce. The specifics are usually things like poor seed quality, a lack of modern farming techniques, low-yield, and a lack of skilled farm labour. The solution to all of these problems is singular — research.


Currently there are two end-goals. The first is to improve the genetic variations of cows being used in Pakistan for dairy farming. To achieve this, Pakistan requires better embryos to be able to farm elite animals with high-yields and long lives. To this end, the Royal Group of China has established a laboratory in Lahore to develop buffalo embryos of elite animals. The company also plans to set up a buffalo dairy farm of 8,000 heads. The project is aimed at significantly improving buffalo breeds and milk yield both in Pakistan and China.

On the other front, the Sichuan Litong Ltd. and China Machinery and Engineering Corporation have started chilli contract-farming in Punjab and Sindh on 400 hectares. The company is providing local farmers technology and training to grow high-quality chilis. It has planned to expand this operation on 10,000 hectares and to also establish a chilli processing plant.

The chilli project is actually quite fascinating. Pakistan as a country has ideal conditions for growing chillies. As per the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (Economic Wing), chilli is grown on 47,349 hectares in Pakistan with a crop yield of about 2.68 tons per hectare (1.072 tons per acre) and an annual production of around 126,943 tons in FY 2018-19. Over the past couple of years, however, chillies have first seen a significant increase in yield and then a significant dip.

While chillies are a native product that thrive in the region, the reality is that demand (particularly international demand) varies because of the unreliability of the crops in Pakistan. To this end, the Chinese companies taking on the chilli project are hoping to use better farming techniques, the latest research, and better seeds to grow more chillies in a smaller area and then export them to China. To do this, perhaps what is a bigger deal is that they will process and dry these chillies before exporting them — making it one of the few crops that get post harvest treatment in Pakistan as well. If successful, this may open other avenues for export for Pakistan as well.

The potential really is massive. Earlier this year, near the end of May, six model farms under Pakistan-China Red Chilli Contract Farming Project achieved a bumper harvest in southern Punjab and northern Sindh, with an estimated yield of 700 tons of dried chillies. According to Dai Bao, leader of the agricultural project of China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) in Pakistan, crops in the six model farms with a total area of nearly 300 acres began bearing fruits in May. As part of the process, more than 200 local technicians were trained this planting season and nearly 1,000 jobs were created

A similar story stands on the livestock end of the equation as well. Other than trying to ensure high-quality embryos the China Animal Husbandry Industry Co., Ltd. is also planning a livestock vaccine production plant in Gwadar which would produce vaccines to prevent animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease.

Riaz Haq said…
Near Kunri, a southern Pakistani town known as Asia's chilli capital, 40-year old farmer Leman Raj rustles through dried plants looking for any of the bright red chillis in his largely destroyed crop which may have survived.

"My crops suffered heavily from the heat, then the rains started, and the weather changed completely. Now, because of the heavy rains we have suffered heavy losses in our crops, and this is what has happened to the chillies," he said, holding up desiccated, rotten plants . "All the chillies have rotted away."

Devastating floods that wrecked havoc across Pakistan in August and September, on the back of several years of high temperatures, have left chilli farmers struggling to cope. In a country heavily dependent on agriculture, the more extreme climate conditions are hitting rural economies hard, farmers and experts say, underscoring the vulnerability of large swathes of South Asia's population to changing weather patterns.

Officials have already estimated damages from the floods at over $40 billion.

Pakistan, with 150,000 acres of chilli farms and producing 143 000 tonnes of chillies annually is ranked fourth in the world for chilli production. Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan's economy, which in a country that experts say is extremely vulnerable to climate change poses major risks.

Before the floods, the biggest problem was hotter temperatures, which were making it harder to successfully grow chilli, which needs more moderate conditions.

"When I was a child ... the heat was never so intense. We used to have a plentiful crop, now it has become so hot, and the rains are so scarce that our yields have dwindled," Leman Raj said.

Dr Attaullah Khan, the Director of the Arid Zone Research Centre, at Pakistan's Agricultural Research Council, told Reuters that even before the floods, the region had faced serious problems from heatwaves in the last three years, which was affecting the growth of chilli crops in the area.

Now the floods he said, posed a whole new set of challenges.

"Coming to climate change: how do we overcome that?” he said. "Planning has to be done on a very large scale. Four waterways that used to carry (excess) water to the ocean have to be revived. For that we will have to take some very hard decisions …. but we don't have any other choice."

Many farmers say they have already faced tough decisions.

As flooding inundated his farm a few months ago, Kunri farmer Faisal Gill decided to sacrifice his cotton crops to try to save chilli.

"We constructed dikes around cotton fields and installed pumps, and dug up tranches in the chill crop to accumulate water and pump it out into the cotton crop fields, as both crops are planted side by side," Gill said.

Destroying his cotton enabled him to save saved just 30% of his chilli crop, he said, but that was better than nothing.

In Kunri's bustling wholesale chilli market, Mirch Mandi, the effect is also being felt. Though mounds of bright red chilli dot the market, traders said there is a huge drop on previous years.

"Last year, at this time, there used to be around 8,000 to 10,000 bags of chillies in the market," said trader Raja Daim. "This year, now you can see that there are barely 2,000 bags here, and it is the first day of the week. By tomorrow, and the day after, it will become even less,” he said, adding an average day later in the week just 1,000 bags reached the market.
Riaz Haq said…
Kunri (Urdu: كُنرى) (Sindhi: ڪنري) is a tehsil and town located in the Umarkot District, Sindh province in southern Pakistan.[1] It is located about 270 kilometres (170 mi) east of Karachi. It has four prominent union councils: Nabisar Road, Bustan, Talhi and Memon Talhi.

It is the chilli capital of Asia. Kunri's red chilli is important to domestic and international markets.

Kunri's economy is mostly based on agriculture. The region produces red chilies (approximately 88,000 acres around the Kunri area), cotton, sunflower, sugar cane, and Sindhri mangoes. The most popular crop is the red chili, which sustains the town. Kunri is the biggest red chili market in Pakistan. Cooking oil plants are located in Kunri, most of which provide employment only to needy people. The manufacture Sindhi embroidery such as Hurmacho (interlacing stitch), mirror work and applique quilts called rillies.[what language is this?] Balochi Kharek embroidery is added to dresses made by locals.
Riaz Haq said…
90,000 tons of peanuts per year produced in Pakistan

Pakistan Peanut Area, Yield and Production
Area Harvested
(Thousand hectares) Production
(Thousand metric tons) Yield
(Metric tons per hectare) Percent Change from Average
2021/22 2022/23 2021/22 2022/23 5-yr Avg 2021/22 2022/23 2022/23 - Avg
98 100 90 91 0.92 0.92 0.91 -1

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan floods: ancient grains like millet could be key to rebuilding food systems

The cultivation of large-grain cereals like wheat and rice has become the norm in South Asia since the 1960s. Wheat is the primary crop grown in the flooded provinces of Punjab and Sindh, for example. Agricultural scientists suggest that millets would be more suitable. These “pseudograins” come from broad-leafed plants with small seeds that were very popular in earlier centuries and can be turned into flour to make dough. Along with amaranth and fonio (two more crops with small, hardy seeds), millets are increasing in popularity globally. A recent market analysis indicated that the production of these ancient grains could grow, as increasing global demand is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 26% between 2022 and 2030.

Cultivating a wider choice of crops would let farmers compensate for falling yields as intensifying heatwaves make wheat cultivation increasingly difficult.

These alternative grains are typically favoured by farmers with less than two acres of land in Asia and Africa. Their cultivation could reduce poverty in these rural communities by allowing farmers to sell their produce in global markets.

Flood-ravaged regions of Pakistan must return to food production and escape hunger as soon as possible. Given the quickening cycles of drought and flooding triggered by global heating, growing hardier alternative crops makes sense. And as water becomes less reliable, crop production could be stabilised by modifying water mangagement systems, including a switch to drip irrigation which saves water by laying pipes which trickle moisture on or below the soil.

A greater selection of crops could also offer a more diverse diet for local people. In the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, only 10% of vegetables grown are processed locally, giving this food a short shelf life and preventing farmers from selling their produce in Pakistan. Investment in transport and storage to reduce spoilage could enable a thriving vegetable trade between provinces.

Resilient food systems in other parts of the world could emulate these proposed changes in Pakistan by diversifying crops to include older, hardier varieties, adopting water conservation methods and helping communities grow both cereals and vegetables which can be eaten locally, for better nutrition and more secure livelihoods.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is the world’s 6th largest sugar producing country

Pakistan produces 6.1 million tons of sugar in 2022


Pakistan 5th largest sugar cane producing country

67 million tons of sugar cane in 2019
Riaz Haq said…
How India can boost millets cultivation
A region-specific strategy and their introduction in mid-day meals in schools and anganwadis could boost millets cultivation. The need for wholesome nutrition would also be more for children in the very regions that are suited for millet cultivation

The United Nations has, at India’s initiative, declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. This, even as India’s own production of these “nutri cereals” — jowar, bajra and ragi and minor millets such as kodo, kutki, kakun, sanwa, cheena and kuttu — has fallen from 23-24 million to 19-20 million tonnes over the last 4-5 decades. The reason: Millets aren’t the first choice either of consumers or producers. Kneading dough and rolling rotis is much easier with wheat than with millet flour. Wheat has gluten proteins that make the dough more cohesive and elastic. The resultant breads come out soft, unlike with millets that are gluten-free. The public distribution system (PDS) has made rice and wheat accessible even to the rural poor, for whom these were previous aspirational cereals. For farmers, too, millets are orphan crops. With access to irrigation, they will immediately switch to growing wheat and rice that yield 3-4 times more than jowar or bajra.

That said, cultivation of millets deserves a special push, given their nutritional superiority over wheat and rice — whether in terms of amino acid profile or vitamins, minerals and crude fibre content. They are also hardier and drought-resistant crops, which has to do with their short growing season (70-100 days, as against 120-150 days for paddy and wheat) and lower water requirement (350-500 mm versus 600-1,200 mm). The right strategy would be to promote their cultivation in those regions — rain-fed semi-arid and hilly terrains — where they have been well-adapted. One cannot expect farmers in Punjab or coastal Andhra Pradesh to grow bajra and ragi; the yield sacrifices and opportunity costs of diverting irrigated land for these would be far too high. A more realistic approach is to incentivise farmers in western Rajasthan, southern Karnataka or eastern Madhya Pradesh — who are already cultivating bajra, ragi and minor millets — to not shift to rice and wheat. These districts/regions can, in turn, be developed as clusters for particular millets — like Dindori in MP for kodo and kutki.

The same region-specific strategy could be adopted even for boosting consumption. India, according to data for 2021-22, has 14.89 lakh schools with 26.52 crore students. These, plus another 14 lakh pre-school anganwadi centres, constitute a large potential market for millets. The PDS can continue supplying rice and wheat, which are more amenable to nationwide procurement, stocking and distribution. But the schools and anganwadis can serve khichdi, dosas, energy bars and puddings made from locally-sourced millets, along with a daily glass of milk and egg for every child. The need for such wholesome nutrition would be more for children in the very regions that are suited for millet cultivation.
Riaz Haq said…
Mango farmers in Pakistan say production of the prized fruit has fallen by up to 40 percent in some areas because of high temperatures and water shortages in a country identified as one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

The arrival of mango season in Pakistan is eagerly anticipated, with around two dozen varieties arriving through the hot, humid summers.

This year, however, temperatures rose sharply in March -- months earlier than usual -- followed by heatwaves that damaged crops and depleted water levels in canals farmers depend on for irrigation.

"Usually I pick 24 truckloads of mangoes... this year I have only got 12," said Fazle Elahi, counting the bags lined up by his farm.

"We are doomed."

The country is among the world's top exporters of mangoes, harvesting nearly two million tons annually across southern parts of Punjab and Sindh.

The total harvest is yet to be measured, but production is already short by at least 20 to 40 per cent in most areas, according to Gohram Baloch, a senior official at the Sindh provincial government's agriculture department.

Umar Bhugio, who owns swaths of orchards outside Mirpur Khas -- locally known as the city of mangoes -- said his crops received less than half the usual amount of water this year.

"Mango growers confronted two problems this year: one was the early rise in temperatures, and secondly the water shortage," he said.

Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, a problem made worse by poor infrastructure and mismanagement of resources.

It also ranks as the country eighth most-vulnerable to extreme weather due to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by environmental NGO Germanwatch.

Floods, droughts and cyclones in recent years have killed and displaced thousands, destroyed livelihoods and damaged infrastructure.

"The early rise of temperatures increased the water intake by crops. It became a contest among different crops for water consumption," said food security expert Abid Suleri, head of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

A rise in temperature is generally expected in the mango belt in early May, which helps the fruit ripen before picking starts in June and July.

But the arrival of summer as early as March damaged the mango flowers, a key part of the reproductive cycle.

"The mango should weigh over 750 grams but this year we picked very undersized fruit," Elahi said.

Known in South Asia as the "king of fruits", the mango originated in the Indian subcontinent.

The country's most treasured variety is the golden-yellow Sindhri, known for its rich flavour and juicy pulp.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan produces around 560,000 tons guava annually with 58,500 hectares of land under its cultivation. Sindh is the second largest guava producer in the country.

Guava, is popular across the country for its unique fragrance and taste. Guava belongs to family of Myrtacear. It is called “poor man’s fruit” or
“apple of tropics” and is a popular fruit tree of the tropical and subtropical climate and is native to tropical America stretching from Mexico to
Peru. Guavas are cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. Top guava producing
countries are India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Nigeria. In Pakistan, it is grown in all the provinces.
The major guava growing areas include Shariqpur, Kasur, Lahore, Sheikhupora, Sangla Hills, Gujranwala in Punjab; Kohat, Haripur, and Bannu in
KPK and Larkana, Naushehro Feroze and Hyderabad in Sindh. Guava fruits are used both, as fresh consumption and processing. It excels in
adoptibility, productivity, hardiness and most importantly in vitamin C. Besides its high nutritive value, it bears heavy crop every year and gives
good economic returns involving very little input. Guava is the one of the most gregarious of fruit trees of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and is
almost universally known by its common English name or its equivalent in other languages. The Dutch call it guyaba, goeajaaba, the Surinamese,
guave or goejaba, and the Portuguese, goiaba or goaiberi, in Spanish, the tree is guayabo, or guayavo, the Surinamese, guave or goejaba, the
Portuguese, goiaba or goaiberi, for Hawaiians it is guava or kuawa. In Malaya, it is generally known either as guava or jambu batu. Various tribal
names pichi, posh, enandi, etc. are employed among the Indians of Mexico and Central and South America. In Pakistan, it is locally known as
amrood. Guava is partly deciduous, shallow-rooted shrubs or small tree that grows 4 to 5m in height but in exceptional cases, it may attain a
height of 9 m, with spreading branches. Leaves are light green in color 7 to 15 cm in length. The flower is white in color, complete and sometimes
grow singly and sometimes it grows in clusters. Plant stem skin brown in color, smooth and scaly, flower bud mixed. It has an edible round or
pear-shaped sweet fruits usually 5-10 cm in diameter. The fruit has a thin peel, usually red, pale green or yellow when mature. The flesh of some
varieties is hard (crunchy like an apple) other cultivars are white or pinkish in flesh color and soft when ripe with a strong, very characteristic
fragrant scent. The fruit center core contains many small hard seeds. Guava can grow in both humid and dry tropical or subtropical regions of
the world and it is cold sensitive. Minimum required temperature is 20 degree Celsius and the optimum required temperature is 23 to 28 degree
Celsius. Guava cannot tolerate a high temperature of desert regions. Guavas cannot tolerate frost. Guava is cultivated on varied types of soils heavy clay to very light sandy soils. Good quality guavas are produced in river-basins. It tolerates a soil pH of 4.5- 8.2. The maximum
concentration of its feeding roots is available up to 25 cm of soil. Good drainage is recommended but guavas are seen growing spontaneously
on land with a high water table. Besides all these, guava is a bit salt resistant as well.

Riaz Haq said…
CPEC Agri corridor sows seeds of economic growth

As 2022 draws close, the agriculture sector has gained manifold tractions under China-Pakistan agriculture cooperation promising the phenomenal agri growth in the length and breadth of Pakistan, according to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Saturday.

Given the comprehensive spectrum of cooperation under “CPEC Green Corridor” throughout the year in 2022, the agriculture sector has recorded a remarkable growth of 4.4% and surpassed the target of 3.5% as well as last year’s growth of 3.48% during FY2022.

According to Economic Survey, the growth in the agriculture sector recorded 4.4% and surpassed the target of 3.5%.

This remarkable growth is mainly underpinned by China-led assistance to Pakistan of many facets relating transfer of hands-on experience in the fields of intercropping, high-yield seeds, pest control, hybrid cultivation, corporate farming, innovate irrigation technique, agri machinery training, agri research & development, protocol for Pak agri exports to China, digital farming and agri labor skills.

Since Sino-Pak agriculture has continued to deepen in 2022, Pakistan’s agricultural products exported to China from January to August 2022 reached $730 million with a year-on-year increase of 28.59%.

Pakistan’s agricultural exports to China are expected to exceed a record high of $1 billion next year.

On the back of 2022 agri sector’s milestone achievement, the focus of next year under CPEC Green Corridor will be continuing on improving land cultivation area, water management, better access to markets for inputs (seeds, fertilizers, farm mechanization, credit, water) and outputs, improved infrastructure including storage and cooling facilities, reduction in post-harvest losses, greater investment in research, development and extension, improved quality and fulfillment of quarantine requirements for international markets and competitiveness, greater diversification, especially minor but high-value crops, farm input and effectiveness of markets.

The announcement of three new corridors under CPEC including China-Pakistan Green Corridor (CPGC), which focuses on agricultural environment and food security speaks volumes about the significance of agricultural cooperation in CPEC.

The inauguration of the Intercropping Research Center jointly established by Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB) in 2021 showed fantastic results in the 2022 season.

According to a news report a few weeks ago, China’s maize-soybean strip intercropping technology completed harvest at 65 demonstration sites in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently, and the production of maize and soybeans reached 8,490 kg and 889 kg per hectare respectively in the intercropped fields.

Compared with the production of solely cropped maize and soybeans at these 65 sites which are 8,995 kg and 1,531 kg per hectare respectively, the intercropping technology definitely creates much more economic benefits.

Good news is that the researchers are also developing the strip intercropping systems of maize-peanut, maize-pea, sugarcane-soybean, sugarcane-mustard, wheat-mustard, wheat-soybean, wheat-chickpea, potato-maize and canola-pea.

Another healthy development in the agriculture sector happened in June, 2022 when a newly developed centre at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (AAUR), the CPEC-Agriculture Cooperation Centre (ACC), announced to perform policy research, assist Chinese businesses in working in the agriculture sector, and foster institutional cooperation. Pakistan is also looking forward to enhance banana production with Chinese cooperation.

Riaz Haq said…
CPEC Agri corridor sows seeds of economic growth

According to Nosherwan Haider, CEO of the Sprouts Biotech Laboratories, Pakistan contributes less than 0.5% to the global banana market whereas China contributes about 4.5%.

Cotton germplasm is another significant component in Pak-China agricultural cooperation. For many years, China and Pakistan have cooperated in the field of gathering and identifying cotton germplasm resources.

In order to determine which cotton germplasms are resistant to heat, drought, diseases, and insect pests in various locations and environments, Institute of Cotton Research (ICR) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), collaborated with Cotton Research Institute (CRI), Multan, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), and some other universities and scientific research institutions.

During July, 2022, Tianjin Modern Vocational Technology College (TMVTC), China and MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan (MNSUAM), Pakistan signed an online agreement for an agricultural machinery training program of Luban Workshop in Pakistan.

The two institutions will jointly promote the sci-tech exchanges and cooperation on agricultural machinery, germplasm resources and agricultural environment.

Earlier this year, Zhang Jishu from Sichuan Litong Food Co., Ltd. announced that his company would implement a 1,000-acre pepper cultivation demonstration garden in Multan during the 2022-2023 growing season.

In partnership with local agribusinesses and farmers in Pakistan, it intends to take over 15,000 acres of pepper orders in South Punjab, with a planned harvest of 30,000 tonnes of dried pepper. Additionally, the company intends to construct two pepper processing plants in Lahore and Multan and is in the process of locating suitable sites.

Pakistan is also working to grow the sorghum crops as, along with the three main basic foods of the globe, sorghum is a crop that has increasingly gained acceptance around the world.

During the Symposium on Sorghum Industry Development of China and Pakistan organized during 2022, there was a consensus that, sorghum is a versatile crop that can be useful in supplying food and fodder.

Hybrid farming is growing in Pakistan in a variety of sectors, as the Executive Member of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association and General Manager of Wuhan Qingfa Hesheng Seed Company, Zhu Xiaobo said that the hybrid canola variety developed by her company has been planted in Pakistan on about 10,000 hectares of land, covering around 6000 households.

In the next three to five years, they expect it to expand to over 40,000 hectares and provide more and healthier edible oil to Pakistanis. Similarly Sino-Pak cooperation in cauliflower farming through hybrid seeds is also expanding.

As Pakistan faced one of the worst flood calamities in 2022, consequently loosing drastic crop yield, Wuhan-based hybrid seed developer and supplier China also announced to donate hybrid rice seeds to mitigate flood impact on agriculture and food security.

According to the Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, to raise the average productivity and output of Pakistan’s crops and to mitigate the harm caused by the floods, experts from Pakistan and China are developing hybrid wheat types.

To facilitate the swift development of agri-sector in the country, the Punjab cabinet approved the leasing out of state land for corporate farming as part of the CPEC initiative in the first week of March 2022.

The move, according to agriculturalists, would be a revolutionary one for Pakistan’s farming industry. Corporate farming describes the direct ownership or leasing of farmland by business organizations for the purpose of producing goods for their in-house processing needs or for the open market.

Riaz Haq said…
80,000 tons of singhara (water chestnut) grown in Pakistan, according to Junaid Saleem, host of Hasb-e-Haal on Dunya News.


It doesn’t look very appealing nor does it taste ‘yummy’ and most of us just ignore the knobby triangular thing with a blackish brown peel being sold along roadside on pushcarts, close to winter. Yet, some relish it for its crispy-crunchy texture and delicate sweet coconut like flavour. Though, if people were to know of its dietary benefits few would be able to push it aside.

The Hallmark of Southeast Asian cuisine, it’s known as ‘singhara’ locally, though it has other names such as water chestnut, pani-phal, devil pod, caltrop, ling-nut, trapa natan and so on. It grows in slow moving water that is up to five metres deep and is native to warm temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa.

Singhara or caltrop is great for winter season snack. As it grows in slightly runny water, the fruit may have some toxins when sold fresh, and so after washing properly, it should be neutralised by blanching, boiling, steaming or roasting for at least seven minutes prior to peeling or slicing for blending into a drink, adding to salads, clear soups, stew or curry, stuffing for wraps or in whole chicken, or as pizza toppings, making its powder (used as a gravy thickener), mincing it to make puddings or cakes and storing as pickle. After cooking, it retains most of its crunchiness which is even retained when leftovers are reheated.

Few know of it and fewer eat it, though it has many health benefits
The fruits are eaten raw or boiled. The dried fruit is ground to make flour called singhare ka atta which is used in many religious rituals and can be consumed as a phalahar (fruit diet) on the Hindu fasting days, such as the Navratari.

Fresh singhara is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, iron, iodine, gives double the amount of magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, copper and multi-vitamins in comparison to the canned varieties that are available round the year.

It is a perfect food for a healthy life; half a cup of singhara carries just 0.1 gram fat, 14.8 grams of carbohydrates, 0.9 grams of proteins, 22 per cent more micro and macro elements and minerals as compared to buffalo milk, only 60 calories, zero cholesterol, low sodium and 10pc of the daily value of vitamin B6 and B7 to support healthy brain and immune system function, while thiamin and riboflavin portion help body to convert food into energy. Zero fat content assists in maintaining healthy body weight.

Being rich in polyphenolic and flavonoid antioxidants, it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help in strengthening the stomach and spleen, and thus removes the symptoms of weak spleen, such as bad taste, insomnia, feeling sick, fatigue or swelling and urinary infections.

Loaded with detoxifying properties, it is advantageous for people suffering from jaundice, aids in proper functioning of the thyroid gland, acts as sterling coolant for the body, promotes salivation and quenches thirst, potent in treating urine infections, eradicate inflammations and blood impurities. It drives away tiredness as energy booster, and checks the flow of blood from wounds, regulates water retention and blood pressure by balancing sodium. Juices and extracts of singhara seeds are effective in treating conditions like measles, aid in curing the disorders of nausea and indigestion, eliminate bile residues properly, cure phlegm and plethora, controls diarrhoea and dysentery, treats sore throats, anaemia, fractures and bronchitis.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Agriculture-focused Fintech Digit++ Obtains Approval from State Bank

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central bank, has reportedly granted approval to the test launch of the country’s very first agriculture-focused Fintech platform, Digitt+ (providing an Electronic Money Institution or EMI permit).

Digitt+ is supported by Akhtar Fuiou Technologies (AFT), the firm revealed this past Friday.

According to the firm, the aim of this agri-Fintech app is to fully digitize the agricultural ecosystem, enable greater financial inclusion for local farmers and unbanked consumers via its tech, partnership, relationship with agri-businesses and FMCGs operating in Pakistan.

As reported by local sources, Digitt+ has teamed up with FuiouPay, an international payment solutions provider, in order to offer a market-based alternative to the traditional banking system.

As explained in the announcement, FuiouPay provides holistic enabling solutions via their 75 intellectual property licenses and proprietary software solutions.

Qasim Akhtar Khan, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Digitt+, noted that the firm will offer financial technology solutions to farmers residing in the country, who will have the option to open bank accounts and also gain access to credit and digital financial services – including easy bill payments, digital commerce, investments as well as fund transfers.

As noted in the update, the approval from the State Bank of Pakistan is a key milestone.

This ongoing initiative has the potential to address persistent food security issues, significantly improve yields and enhance human welfare in Pakistan, directly affecting local farmers and merchants, he stated.

Notably, Pakistan has been a significant agriculture powerhouse for many years. Agriculture employs around 50% of the nation’s workforce and also contributes approximately 25% to the GDP.

While this is considerable, the industry doesn’t have adequate access to financial services from the banking sector.

Ahmed Saleemi, CEO of Digitt+ explained that using tech to create digital financial products focusing on micro services to build a platform that should support the delivery of these solutions for the retail Agri market and corporate sector can be achieved via the provision of business tools.
Riaz Haq said…

The $8.2 million USAID-funded Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity (PATTA) (2017-2021) increased Pakistani smallholder farmers’ access to agricultural markets, finance and technologies by supporting the cost-effective promotion and development of appropriate and affordable agricultural technologies that enable smallholders to increase their incomes, create jobs and enhance economic growth and stability.

PATTA facilitated productive linkages between local producers, suppliers, governments, academic institutions and other key stakeholders to develop, scale and promote the use of agricultural technologies and practices that expand agricultural productivity, increase yields and improve farm management. These included seeds, fertilizers, water pumps, improved plant and animal breeds, precision agriculture and integrated soil fertility management, among others.

PATTA also promoted agricultural innovation and accelerated the use of modern technologies through collaborations with 788 private sector partners, including micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) involved in agricultural technology manufacturing, assembly, supply and import.


Enabled agricultural technology-related businesses to expand, adapt and market their products and services to meet smallholder farmers’ needs:
Created an Enabling Environment for Increased Agricultural Technology Adoption: A favorable enabling environment for technology adoption is vital to reach farmers across Pakistan with new agricultural technologies. PATTA partnered with agribusinesses and provincial agricultural departments to identify new geographical areas for technology promotion so that technologies could be appropriately and widely adopted. Through these strategic private-sector partnerships, PATTA enabled a conducive environment for investment in agricultural activities that increased technology uptake such as experience sharing in farmer community gatherings, women-centric awareness raising demonstrations and on-site practical demonstrations.
Riaz Haq said…
Why 2023 is the year of millets

By Charukesi Ramadurai
9th February 2023
Once a forgotten staple of traditional Indian cuisine, nutritionally dense millets are becoming popular the world over. So much so that 2023 is being dubbed "the year of millets".

The woman squatting in front of the earthen chulha (stove) fanned the flame with the edge of her sari as she turned the bajra bhakri (flatbread made from pearl millet flour) over and topped it with a generous dollop of ghee. With a shy smile, she handed it to me on a plate with piping-hot zunka (a spicy dry curry made with chickpea flour) on the side. I was in a forest near the city of Nagpur in central India in the middle of winter, and the earthy, slightly sweet flavour of the millets seemed to warm me up from the very inside.

Millets are a group of small grains – technically seeds – that are grown on lands with poor soil quality or limited access to irrigation. They are versatile ingredients that can be used both in their original grain form in porridges and as rice substitutes, or as flour to make flatbreads and other baked goods.

Once a staple in traditional Indian cooking, millets fell out of favour over the years, and have been making a slow comeback in India and across the world. To keep this momentum going, the United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets.

At the announcement ceremony in December 2022, Qu Dongyu, the Director-General of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, spoke about the nutritive value of millets and their invaluable role in empowering small farmers, tackling food security issues and achieving sustainable development.

While this may be news for much of the Global North, millets have been staple food in India (and parts of Africa) for several centuries, having come from China at least 5,000 years ago. There are nine kinds of millets cultivated across various regions in India, such as sorghum, finger millet, little millet, kodo millet, foxtail millet and barnyard millet. These vary in colour, size and texture, but share roughly the same nutritional profile. And all of them have local names in many Indian languages, attesting to their historical popularity across regions.

Nevertheless, their ubiquity in India waned after the Green Revolution in the 1960s, when the Indian government pushed for hybrid, high-yield varieties of wheat and rice to increase food production for both domestic consumption and export. Being officially called a "coarse grain" didn't help millets' cause either, as this designation signified something less desirable to processed rice and wheat.

Millets began to be seen as the food of rural and tribal communities, who ate rustic dishes like ragi mudde (steamed balls made with finger millet) and jowar roti (sorghum flatbread) as cheap and filling meals. However, for pastoral folks, millets were much more than sustenance. For example, they believed that consuming bajra raab (a thin porridge) would help build immunity against winter colds, and they would talk about how just two energy-packed ragi (finger millet) balls – eaten with a spicy, thin stew in the morning – would keep farmers fed for the whole day. Women, like the one who fed me the bajra bhakri, would pass the know-how of these dishes down through the generations, keeping the tradition of millet-based meals alive in rural India.

Now, mainstream society is beginning to understand and appreciate the long-lost benefits of millets too. Manu Chandra, chef and founder at Manu Chandra Ventures, who has been championing millets for years, rues, "With modernisation and increasing conveniences, we have forgotten what used to be traditional and lost sight of what our grandmothers used to cook. Given that we Indians have the highest rate of diabetes in the world, including millets in our diet just makes sense, but [they have been] sacrificed at the altar of rice and wheat."
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Why 2023 is the year of millets

According to Mumbai-based holistic nutrition expert Amita Gadre, "Millets are not just naturally gluten-free, they also have much higher levels of iron and calcium than processed wheat and rice. They are also very rich in fibre, which makes them a good choice for those trying to control blood sugar or manage insulin resistance." One hundred grams of ragi grain, for instance, contains 344g of calcium, compared to only 33g in rice and 30g in wheat.

And then there's also the agricultural benefits of growing millets. Amrita Hazra, associate professor of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune and founder of The Millet Project at the University of California Berkeley, explained that millets are hardy crops that don't need much water or fertiliser, and can be grown in arid conditions. "Lands that can't sustain anything else can still have millets growing on them," she said. "They have a short cycle and can be grown between major crop seasons, and they also enrich the soil with their own set of micronutrients."

Given this, over the last decade the Indian government has begun to encourage the growth and consumption of millets, starting with rebranding millets as "nutricereals" instead of calling them "coarse grains". A diplomatic push at the international level to promote millets globally soon followed, with the intent of making India a major hub for millet production.

Millets are now slowly finding their way back into Indian diets across the social spectrum, from affluent consumers who look to trendy foods (like quinoa and kale) in their search for wellness to middle-class mothers who are finding clever ways to sneak the nutritious grains into family meals.

Influential restaurant chefs have also been giving them a fillip through fusion recipes. The menu at The Bombay Canteen in Mumbai, for example, often features millet dishes such as barley and jowar (sorghum) salad, and vegetarian haleem with a mix of kodo, proso and foxtail millets (a savoury porridge usually made with meat, wheat and lentils). Nearby, Noon serves a range of millet tortillas and dosa, while Soam offers jowar pita pockets and ragi pancakes. In Bangalore, Go Native serves up rustic millet khichdi (a porridge usually made with rice and lentils) and ragi pizzas. And at Toast & Tonic, with locations in Mumbai and Bangalore, millet is added to arancini and kibbeh.

According to Chandra, "For millets to become truly broad-based, they need to be presented in a form that is more acceptable for today's generation instead of holding on to traditional recipes and ways of cooking."

Millet companies such as Tata Soulfull and Slurrp Farms are doing just this, in the form of snacks and ready-made meals such as chips, chakli (a savoury fried snack usually made of ground rice and lentils), noodles, pancake mixes and breakfast cereals. Prashant Parameswaran, managing director at Tata Soulfull, says that the inspiration for creating the brand came from the growing interest in eating quinoa he observed more than a decade ago when he lived in the United States. "I thought, why not our Indian millets?" he said.

All of this is adding to what Gadre calls "diversity on the plate", as she considers millets, along with other staples like rice and wheat, to be crucial for a balanced and varied diet. Other experts agree. According to food writer and nutritionist Nandita Iyer, "Millets are part of the larger biodiversity story in India… Along with the added fibre that helps control sharp spikes in blood sugar levels, eating millets also gives us more varied tastes and textures in our meals."

Riaz Haq said…
Why 2023 is the year of millets

All of this is adding to what Gadre calls "diversity on the plate", as she considers millets, along with other staples like rice and wheat, to be crucial for a balanced and varied diet. Other experts agree. According to food writer and nutritionist Nandita Iyer, "Millets are part of the larger biodiversity story in India… Along with the added fibre that helps control sharp spikes in blood sugar levels, eating millets also gives us more varied tastes and textures in our meals."

Millets are part of the larger biodiversity story in India
There are even millet-based beers offered by microbreweries and gastropubs across the country to wash all these millet dishes and snacks down. At his craft brewery, Great State Aleworks in the city of Pune, Nakul Bhonsle aims to "always have one millet beer pouring, and create a new one every three months". Currently in the pipeline is a new jowar pilsner. "I wanted my craft beer to be local in every way, and millets fit into our vision because they are cultivated in Maharashtra [the state in which Pune is located]," he said. "Globally, millet beers are about being gluten free, but for us, it is about working with the farmers."

Parameswaran sums up what many consider the significance of millets: "Millets are good not just for the consumer, but also for the farmer and for the environment. [Embracing millets] enables conscious consumers to say, 'this is my way of contributing to climate change'. So, this is more than a "super food", it is a smart food."

Given that India is already the largest producer and one of the biggest exporters of millets, the global attention on millets this year is sure to come as boost for Indian farmers. As for consumers, the classic cycle of what's traditional becoming trendy again, has already begun.'s World's Table "smashes the kitchen ceiling" by changing the way the world thinks about food, through the past, present and future.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is the world's 12th largest millet producing country. It produced 384,000 tons in 2019.

World's top 3 producers of millet are India (10 million tons), Niger (3 million tons) and China (2 million tons)
Riaz Haq said…
Farmers urged to pursue modern farming through cooperatives

Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki has asked farmers to pursue a modern agricultural business model with the help of cooperatives to improve their welfare.

He said that the agriculture system in Indonesia is different from that in Australia, America, and Europe, where a farmer can have hundreds of hectares of land.

“In Indonesia, on average, each farmer has 0.3 hectares,” he said during a meeting with farmers and Artha Mitra Abadi Jaya Cooperative members at a restaurant in Nepal Van Java village in Magelang district, Central Java province.

He said that with such a small space for productivity, it is hard to establish food resilience, considering that farmers have to supply high-quality stocks in a consistent manner.

He said that attempts are being made to replicate the corporate farming system adopted in countries like Australia and New Zealand, however, farm ownership will not be entrusted to just one person or entity.

“Through cooperatives, the farmers’ corporatization will be consolidated. Farmers will collaborate with cooperatives so that they gain economic (benefits),” he elaborated.

Nepal Van Java has 400 hectares of land belonging to 600 people, he pointed out.

“In Lampung, we make the same model, in which 400 hectares involve 600 people for (growing) a product, that is banana,” he added.

He said that he is sure that the bananas in Singapore have been sourced from the same Lampung cooperative.

With this model of collaboration, farmers can focus on productivity and not be concerned by sales, since cooperatives will manage that part by either working with regional companies or selling products in the market directly, Minister Masduki added.

Such a model has also been adopted in Ciwidey sub-district in Bandung district, West Java, he said. Their product has penetrated modern markets, he noted.

“We want to collectively establish a well-planned agriculture system, so that what the farmers plant, be it in terms of plant variety, product, or volume, can suit the market demands,” the minister said.

By doing so, there would be no excess supply that leads to a decline in prices, he added.— ANTARA
Riaz Haq said…
The challenge of shrinking farm sizes

Many research studies have explored and proven the inverse relationship between farm size and crop yields. In Pakistan, the solution undeniably lies in consolidating agricultural holdings into somewhat larger and more efficient farms. But the real challenge is to devise and execute effective policy measures. Among the options explored, cooperative farming and corporate farming are often the most cited.

In Pakistan, the average farm size has steadily declined from 5.3 hectares in 1971 to 3.1 hectares in 2000 and then subsequently to 2.6 hectares in 2010 (Agricultural Census 2010). As a result, the agriculture sector is now dominated by smallholders. Over 90 per cent of farms are smaller than 12 acres, out of which 67pc are below even five acres (two hectares).

The majority of farms have become so small due to successive land divisions that they are no longer economically and operationally viable. Small size is a major limiting factor for increasing labour and land productivity, mechanisation of farms, optimal application of quality farm inputs, and adoption of advanced agricultural practices and technologies.

At the same time, more than 8.2 million farms pose a serious challenge for the government to provide extension services, offer credit facility to all farmers, enhance their effective access to the market and even implement government programmes for farmers, primarily due to the high transaction costs involved. All these challenges translate into higher production costs and, in turn, a lack of competitiveness. As a result, farmers demand farm subsidies, putting additional pressure on the country’s scarce financial resources.

Interestingly, in East Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, instead of shrinking, farm sizes are increasing. In fact, thriving manufacturing and service sectors have provided lucrative employment opportunities, resulting in labour migration from agriculture to non-agriculture sectors.

Many research studies have explored and proven the inverse relationship between farm size and crop yields. In Pakistan, the solution undeniably lies in consolidating agricultural holdings into somewhat larger and more efficient farms. But the real challenge is to devise and execute effective policy measures. Among the options explored, cooperative farming and corporate farming are often the most cited.

Cooperatives (associations of persons united voluntarily) have been successful in many countries in empowering farmers to pool in multiple lands together, use collective bargaining to buy agricultural inputs and sell their produce, and collectively undertake value addition to attain greater efficiencies. Their success can be gauged from the fact that cooperatives in Europe have over 40pc market share in agri-food supply chains, whereas, in the USA, around 75pc of the country’s milk is marketed by dairy cooperatives.

Due to the peculiar socio-cultural context of our rural areas, particularly in Punjab and Sindh, people do not exhibit an inclination towards working together for common needs and aspirations. Therefore, cooperatives in the agriculture sector could not reap the desired results. In Pakistan, cooperatives often do not hire professional managers. Therefore, when the majority of members lose interest in managing the organisation due to one reason or another, a small group takes control and manages it for their own gains and interests.

Another widely mentioned option is corporate farming (large-scale agriculture by large companies). The arguments in favour include companies’ greater capacity and financial muscle to introduce mechanisation and new technologies, undertake effective marketing of farm produce, develop linkages with national and international value chain players, and improve farm and area infrastructure. All these factors result in higher productivity and competitiveness.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Fruits And Vegetables Market Analysis - Industry Report - Trends, Size & Share

Pakistan Fruits & Vegetables Market Analysis

The Pakistan fruits and vegetable market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period.

According to the FAO, fruit production amounted to 9.82 million metric ton in 2020. Mangoes accounted for the highest production of 2.3 million metric ton, followed by oranges with a production of 1.6 million metric ton. Similarly, in 2020, vegetable production accounted for 5.5 million ton, where about 40% of the production was only attributed to onions with over 2 million metric ton, followed by tomatoes, carrots, and turnips. Following cereals exports, fruit exports hold the largest share of the agriculture export revenue of the country. The value of the country's fruit exports grew by over 17% reaching USD 492 million in 2021.

Different climates in the country result in the availability of many vegetable varieties in markets around the year. Around 35 kinds of vegetables are grown across numerous ecosystems in Pakistan, ranging from the dry zone to the wet zone, low elevation to high elevation, rain-fed to irrigated, and low input to high input systems, such as plastic houses. Horticulture in Pakistan emerged as an important sector contributing over 18% to the national agriculture GDP. A large number of horticultural products are produced to fulfill the domestic demand for fruit and vegetables for the rapidly expanding population as well as to cater to the demand arising in potential export markets. Out of the total annual agriculture production of the country, the major contributors are Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and NWFP. Mango, kino, apple, dates, pine nuts, oranges, and guava are a few of the majorly exported fruits, and potato, onion, mushroom, garlic, chili, etc., are among the vegetables exported globally. Pakistan is heavily relying on one market for specific items. For example, Dubai is the biggest market for Pakistani mango, followed by England and Saudi Arabia. Sri Lanka is the only biggest market for Pakistani fresh apples. Hence, all these aforementioned factors are anticipated to positively impact the fruits and vegetable market of Pakistan during the forecast period.
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Pakistan Fruits And Vegetables Market Analysis - Industry Report - Trends, Size & Share

Increasing demand for Vegetables
Owing to low domestic production, Pakistan depends on vegetable imports for meeting the domestic demand. According to the International Trade Center, vegetable imports dominate the Pakistani market compared to fruit imports. The value of vegetable imports in the country increased by about 50% during the period 2018-2021. The country imported vegetables worth more than USD 946 million in the year 2021 with Australia, Afghanistan, Russia, and Canada being the major exporters of vegetables to Pakistan. Vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, lettuce, chicory, carrots, turnips, cucumbers, gherkins, and coconuts are majorly imported in Pakistan. Furthermore, recent floods in the country are expected to further increase vegetable imports in the following years. According to a report published by ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development), Sindh province is the most affected area in the country, where the vegetable losses are estimated at USD 374 million affecting the three key vegetable crops Onions, Tomato, and Chilli. The growing domestic demand for vegetables in addition to the low domestic production is anticipated to drive vegetable imports driving the studied market.

Pakistan Fruits & Vegetables Market Recent Developments
October 2022: The Punjab government in Pakistan released USD 1.11 million (PKR 250 million) to set up the first fully tax-free, fruit, vegetable, and flower market in Rawalpindi to mitigate the inflation on consumers. The new market will have discounted prices of up to 30% and will increase the fruit and vegetable market in the region.

August 2022: The government of Pakistan lifted the tariffs on the import of tomatoes and onions to allow immediate import into the country. The government took the decision, as 80% of the onion crop has been damaged in the Sindh area due to floods, thereby, creating a shortage of the two important vegetables in the country.

April 2022: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government signed agreements with private companies to set up cold storage facilities and manufacturing units in Wana, South Waziristan tribal district. The units are being set up under the USAID-funded Horticulture Advancement Activity and implemented by FAO and are designed to increase the competitiveness of potential horticulture value chains in the target regions in the country.
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#DigitalPakistan: #Mastercard (MA) to Aid #Pakistan #Agriculture Sector Digitization. The expansive footprint of Digitt+ across the agricultural sector of Pakistan makes it an apt partner to complement MA’s endeavor. #Farm #Finance

Mastercard Incorporated MA recently inked a deal with Pakistan-based Aktkar Fuiou Technologies ("AFT") as a result of which AFT can take part in the Mastercard Community Pass Program. The program is a shared and interoperable digital technology platform, which aims to counter infrastructural headwinds, such as lack of secure connectivity or low smartphone usage, often encountered while digitizing rural communities.

As a result of the abovementioned deal, Digitt+, the country’s agri-fintech company, backed by AFT, will be entrusted to introduce Mastercard Commerce Pass across Pakistan. Commerce Pass is a digital payment solution that falls under MA’s Community Pass suite.

An offline and stored-value account product, Commerce Pass paves way for the safe storage and transfer of digital funds. Thereby, consumers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises ("MSMEs") of Pakistan are made aware of digitization benefits and the hassles of cash storage and transferring are minimized.

The recent tie-up reinforces Mastercard’s sincere efforts to integrate digital solutions within the underserved agricultural markets of the country. And the expansive footprint of Digitt+ across the agricultural sector of Pakistan makes it an apt partner to complement MA’s endeavor.

The move seems to be a time opportune one as a significant portion of Pakistan’s population is employed in agriculture and widespread measures are being adopted across the globe to integrate digitization in every sphere of life. But the agricultural sector of Pakistan grapples with ineffective infrastructure thereby creating roadblocks in the way of financial service providers to cater to agricultural workers.

Deemed to be a perfect fit in the prevailing scenario, Commerce Pass will offer a record of transactions that will make availing credit and other financial services easier for the country’s agricultural employees. The Mastercard solution is expected to offer financial flexibility to a considerable population of Pakistan that resides in rural areas and resorts to informal lending channels.

Mastercard follows a public-private partnerships strategy in Pakistan and works in unison with the government or private sector companies to infuse digitization across various sectors of the economy. Last year, MA collaborated with LMK Resources Pakistan (Private) Limited ("LMKR") to execute the first open-loop payment solution, powered by MA’s advanced technology, across the country’s transit system. The move was undertaken to infuse digitization within the country’s travel sector. By virtue of such remarkable initiatives, Mastercard occupies a significant share of the digital payments market in Pakistan.

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Army set to initiate ‘corporate farming’ on 45,267 acres in Punjab

According to the sources, corporate companies would also be included in this project, which will be completed in phases.

Under the project, state lands of the Punjab government which are barren and under-cultivated will be utilised for corporate farming. The locals would be made part of the project for modern and mechanized farming.

“The produce will not only be utilised to cater to the food needs of the country but also be used in improving the foreign exchange reserves by exporting the agriculture products.”

The project is quite challenging, as the provision of water to make the land cultivable will be a gigantic task.

The joint venture management agreement was signed on March 8, 2023, with the Punjab government.

“Under the agreement, the Punjab government will hand over its state lands of 45,267 acres to the army for corporate agriculture farming,” discloses an official correspondence that took place on March 10, 2023, between the army and Member (Colonies) Board of Review of Punjab.
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China transforming agriculture industry in Pakistan | By Muhammad Zamir Assadi - Pakistan Observer. By Zamir Assadi

The CPEC Long-Term Plan (LTP) envisages significant development of the agriculture sector of Pakistan that has a huge potential for enhancing its agriculture exports to the international community. Under this plan, there is a focus on increasing the use of modern machinery and synthetic fertilizers to enhance the yields, while food storage and processing zones would be constructed to reduce significant post-harvest losses.

Similarly, the building of cold storage stations and meat processing plants is also being planned to enhance productivity of livestock and fisheries sectors besides making their output more competitive in the international market. Being one of the countries included in the BRI initiative, Pakistan can benefit from China’s increased food import dependence and gradual transition towards high value addition in the agriculture sector.

China is planning to outsource its agriculture supplies in the form of joint ventures by investing in and developing processing zones, warehouses, dairy farming and cold storage stations in Pakistan. It was recorded at the end of last year that the agriculture sector has gained manifold traction under China-Pakistan agriculture cooperation promising the phenomenal agriculture growth in the length and breadth of Pakistan.


Given the comprehensive spectrum of cooperation under “CPEC Green Corridor” throughout the year in 2022, the agriculture sector has recorded a remarkable growth of 4.4% and surpassed the target of 3.5% as well as last year’s growth of 3.48% during FY2022.

Since Sino-Pak agriculture has continued to deepen in 2022, Pakistan’s agricultural products exported to China from January to August 2022 reached $730 million with a year-on-year increase of 28.59% and its agricultural exports to China are expected to exceed a record high of $1 billion next year.

On the back of 2022 agri sector’s milestone achievement, the focus of year 2023 under CPEC Green Corridor will be continuing on improving land cultivation area, water management, better access to markets for inputs (seeds, fertilizers, farm mechanization, credit, water) and outputs, improved infrastructure including storage and cooling facilities, reduction in post-harvest losses, greater investment in research, development and extension, improved quality and fulfillment of quarantine requirements for international markets and competitiveness, greater diversification, especially minor but high-value crops, farm input and effectiveness of markets.
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Corporate farming can ensure food security, strengthen economy: PBF

Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) has called for promoting corporate farming and agriculture research that will not only prove to be an in­stant solution to farmers’ financial woes but also ensure food security in the country, besides strengthen­ing the overall economy. The PBF Vice Presidents Jahanara Wattoo and Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad, and Chairman (Sindh) Mir Murad Talpur expressed these views while talking to media here Monday. The PBF Vice President Jahanara Wattoo said that last year’s flash floods had severely affected farm­ers’ community and the overall agriculture sector, and also put the national food secu­rity at risk. Agriculture sector contributed substantially to coun­try’s GDP, and farmers had always played an instrumental role in resolving every crisis the nation encoun­tered, she observed and suggested that it was necessary to implement an emergency agricul­ture programme and provide farm­ers with an instant solution to their issues. In this regard, she added, public and private sector must play their due role in making improve­ments in agriculture sector.

Both sides should devise plans and make investments to transform the agri sectors on modern farm­ing and techniques, ensuring high yields with low water consumption and other inputs, she maintained. Jahanara Wattoo said, “Women also have great role in our agriculture and without taking them aboard, the development of this vital sector is impossible.” She also emphasized that media should raise awareness and dispel gender stereotypes ob­structing development of various sectors, which were important for economic growth. PBF Vice Presi­dent Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad said that flash floods wreaked havoc in agriculture by washing away stand­ing crops, livestock and other in­frastructures in all the provinces. Though donors organizations and the governments had provided re­lief and rehabilitation support, the agricul­ture sector needed equal opportunities and even more sup­port from the public sector. Ahmad Jawad asserted that it was becoming increas­ingly challenging to satisfy the require­ments of the expand­ing population due to obsolete farming methods, and lack of research and pro­ductivity in the agri sector. In this crisis-like situation, he suggested the government to in­crease agri-research budget, and lay a greater focus on horticulture and other modern farming methods to enhance agri produces which guarantee food security and help increase country’s agri exports. He added, “We pay a lot for food imports however we can save this money by reducing our food im­port, and spend this hefty amount to safeguard farmers and enhance Pakistan’s agricultural sector in or­der to achieve self-sufficiency.”
Riaz Haq said…
The wheat production (in Pakistan) this year topped 27.5 million metric tons, the highest in the last 10 years, despite the challenges posed by heavy rains and floods last year, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Sunday.

Chairing a review meeting on the wheat situation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the relevant federal government institutions as well as the provinces to increase their procurement quotas in the wake of a bumper crop.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting received a briefing on the wheat production, current reserves, carry-forward reserves, procurement targets, and progress of federal and provincial departments.

Shehbaz applauded the record wheat production, saying that this achievement made possible by the grace of Allah, quality seeds, uninterrupted supply of fertiliser, and the timely decisions of the government and its Farmers Package.

“The bumper crop of wheat is a testament to the government’s timely decisions and excellent governance,” he said. “Looking forward, the government is preparing a strategy to increase wheat production even further next year,” he added.

“With the government’s continued efforts and the dedication of farmers, Pakistan aims to maintain its position as a leading wheat producer,” he said, congratulating the farmers for their hard work and dedication to achieve the milestone despite financial difficulties.

He noted that Pakistan became a wheat importing country due to the mismanagement of the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The PTI government, he added, made farmers to stand in long queues for fertilisers.

He urged the federal and provincial institutions to increase procurement targets to enable uninterrupted supply of wheat throughout the year. He also instructed that the resources required to obtain the specified quantity of wheat should be provided through banks.

He congratulated Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema and the officials concerned, and directed all institutions to increase their targets. The meeting was also attended by the caretaker Punjab minister for industries, and other senior officials.
Riaz Haq said…
Amid Food Insecurity, Pakistan Reports Record-Breaking Wheat Harvest


With ongoing disruption to global supplies caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there is some good news on commodities markets: Pakistan, one of the world's top 10 wheat-producing countries, has reported a record-breaking harvest.

Pakistan's highest wheat production in a decade is a welcome respite for its cash-strapped government struggling through economic, political, and food insecurity.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took to social media on April 30 to announce that the country had attained a “record bumper” harvest of wheat totaling 27.5 million metric tons.

The announcement came as Pakistan has been dealing with record inflation and struggling to avoid a default on its debt as it recovers from last summer's floods, which killed 1,379 people and caused $30 billion in damages.

On global markets, the prices of grains, vegetable oil, dairy, and other agricultural commodities have fallen steadily from record highs. But often the relief hasn’t trickled down to the real world of shopkeepers, street vendors, and families trying to make ends meet.

Food prices were already running high when Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, disrupting trade in grain and fertilizer and sending prices up even more. But on a global scale, that price shock ended long ago.

According to the UN, food prices have decreased for a full year straight due to bumper crops in countries like Brazil and Russia, and a fragile wartime arrangement to allow grain supplies out of the Black Sea.

Food markets are so interconnected that “wherever you are in the world, you feel the effect if global prices go up," said Ian Mitchell, an economist and London-based co-director of the Europe program at the Center for Global Development.

Pakistani farmers sort wheat grains after they have been threshed during the harvest season at a village on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The Wilson Center, a nonpartisan research institute, reported on March 6 that 77 million Pakistanis are going hungry and 45 million are malnourished.

Though Pakistan is ranked among the top 10 wheat-producing countries, inflation has destroyed the purchasing power of the rupee, resulting in record prices for vegetables, beans, rice, and wheat.

The Central Bank of Pakistan raised its key interest rate by 100 basis points to 21 percent on April 4, pushing borrowing costs to their highest level since records began in 1992. Consumer price inflation in Pakistan accelerated to a record 35.37 percent in March from a year earlier, eclipsing February's 31.5 percent, the statistics bureau said on April 1.

According to the Global Hunger Index 2021, Pakistan ranks 92nd out of 107 countries, indicating a "serious" level of hunger. The government of Pakistan has launched several initiatives to address food insecurity; however, it remains a significant challenge.
Riaz Haq said…
Feature: Chinese canola crops transform Pakistan's cooking oil industry, boosts local economy-Xinhua

Pakistan's annual consumption of cooking oil is around 5 million tons, but due to the low economic potential of oilseeds in the local market, they are not preferred by the farmers. The country has to import about 89 percent of its oil to meet the demand, spending 3.6 billion dollars annually.

Dealers associated with oilseed distribution have said that the newly introduced variety has a high-profit margin for the farmers and, as such, it has become famous among local farmers just two years after its introduction in Pakistan.

Muhammad Rizwan, a seed distributor in Gujranwala, told Xinhua that the Chinese canola seed is resistant to diseases and has a higher yield than other previously available oilseed varieties on the market.

"Other oil seeds were sold for about 5,000 to 6,000 rupees per 40 kg on the market this year, whereas the Chinese canola was sold for up to 9,500 rupees, it also had a 20 percent to 30 percent higher yield than the other varieties," Rizwan explained.

"The seed is now a hot cake in the eyes of farmers in the Gujranwala district so we have placed a higher order than last year to the seed company to meet the demand in the next cultivation season in November this year," he added.

Last year, 11 tons of seeds were cultivated on 20,000 acres of land across the country, while this year 100 tons are expected to be cultivated due to a higher demand for the seed.

Housewife Saima Rizwan told Xinhua that she came to know about this oil six months ago from social media and how the oil extracted from Chinese canola is beneficial for health besides being cost-effective.

"I asked my husband to buy the oil and its taste was so good that we have never bought imported oil since. We cook all local dishes in the oil, and sometimes when we invite guests, they can't tell the food is cooked in canola oil rather than the commonly used palm oil," the 32-year-old told Xinhua.

Muhammad Azim, team leader of Eyvol group in Gujranwala, said that it was a bumper yield of canola this year compared to other crops, due to which farmers were very happy.

"It is a new beginning because farmers are making a good profit as consumption of locally produced oil increases," said Azim.

"As a next step, we will focus on local production of the seeds in Pakistani nurseries with the help of our Chinese friends to make the seeds more affordable for the local farmers," he said.

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