AGRICULTURE IN PAKISTAN

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Apr 06 - 12, 2009

Pakistan is an agrarian country and agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan's economy. Crop sector contributes 69% in agriculture's GDP, while livestock accounts for 30%. Forestry and fisheries make up less than 2% of the total GDP. Pakistan's Horticultural crops include fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, spices, flowers, and ornamental and aromatic plants.

These crops provide a valuable enterprise for local and international markets. In Pakistan, fruits grown in cool temperate climate are apples, plums, pears and cherries. Whereas in warm temperate climate are apricots, grapes, pomegranates and melon. In the subtropical climate citrus, mango, banana, dates and guava are produced on a large scale. Pakistan produces unrivaled quality mangoes, kinno and dates that have large global market. The major fruits grown in Pakistan are citrus, mango, dates and apple. Pakistan also produces wide range of vegetables such as potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peas, beans, okra, turnip, brinjal, and large number of roots and leafy vegetables. Pakistan has been exporting fruits for over long periods.

AGRICULTURE IN PAKISTAN
FISCAL YEAR CROPPED AREA IMPROVED SEED WATER AVAILABILITY FERTILIZER CREDIT DISBURSED
  (MILLION HECTARES) DISTRIBUTION (000 TONNES) (MAF) OFF-TAKE (000N/T) (RS MILLION)
2000-01 22.04 193.80 134.77 2,966.03 44,790.40
2001-02 22.12 191.57 134.63 2,929.00 52,446.30
2002-03 21.85 172.07 134.48 3,020.00 58,915.27
2003-04 22.94 178.77 134.78 3,222.00 73,445.86
2004-05 22.78 213.75 135.68 3,694.04 108,732.91
2005-06 23.13 305.11 137.78 3,804.19 137,474.31
2006-07 23.51 293.54 137.80 3,672.00 168,830.45
2007-08 P 23.51 231.67 138.10 2,839.00 138,596.72
Various sources P : Provisional

EXPORT-LED PRODUCTION

Pakistan has been producing a large number of fruits and vegetables almost around the year. The production system in Pakistan has not started a demand based horticultural production system. Most of the commodities are being grown because they have been there for over long period. There is a need to link up a production system with consumers demand overseas. Pakistan's citrus has high number of seeds. This serves as a barrier in promotion of overseas trade of our citrus. The research institutes especially in Punjab are working to bring varieties of citrus that are seedless and have demands in the export markets. In addition, Pakistan has not focused on nonconventional commodities such as cut flowers, mushrooms, and spices. These commodities need to be integrated in our horticulture policy and production programs.

PRODUCTION OF IMPORTANT FRUIT
(000 tonnes)
FISCAL YEAR CITRUS MANGO APPLE BANANA APRICOT ALMONDS GRAPES GUAVA EXPORT
(000 TONES) VALUE MN. RS)
2000-01 1,865 990 439 139 126 33 51 526 260 4,586
2001-02 1,830 1,037 367 150 125 26 53 538 290 5,097
2002-03 1,702 1,035 315 143 130 24 52 532 263 4,861
2003-04 1,760 1,056 334 175 211 24 51 550 354 5,912
2004-05 1,843 1,671 352 158 205 23 49 572 281 5,408
2005-06 2,458 1,754 351 164 197 23 49 552 455 7,508
2006-07 1,473 1,720 348 150 177 24 47 555 343 6,894
2007-08 P 1,450 1,750 346 151 160 23 44 563 282 7,313
Source: Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

POST HARVEST HANDLING AND MANAGEMENT

Pakistan loses a large size of horticultural crops in post harvest handling and in transit. Horticultural research institutes and extension organizations are running educational programs to provide the information to the growers on plucking technologies of fruits, removal of field heat, grading of the produce and appropriate packaging.

PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN PAKISTAN
VEGETABLE 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Lady Finger 106722 109239 112154 111565
Squash (Tinda) 87286 90831 94438 98032
Brinjal 89606 88112 88434 86528
Bitter Gourd 52099 52093 54246 53966
Bottle Gourd 58829 60276 59296 59192
Pumpkin 45959 45293 46248 44751
Cucumber 4461 5488 6487 6804
Arum 11732 12013 12945 12706
Tomatoes 137545 143727 156664 159062
Radish 150987 155012 163420 164359
Turnip 265083 267678 270249 266855
Carrot 231907 242292 244279 236869
Cauliflower 204971 206385 208548 212228
Cabbage 69507 69074 74649 75695
Sweet Potato 10848 10065 9967 10587
Peas 75159 77166 81946 91314
Garden Peas 1285 1272 1009 820
Fennu Greek 981 1113 887 1064
Lettuce 108 95 100 148
Sugar beet 6072 6732 6732 2349
Tomatoes 275241 282482 311482 343230
Beans 5790 5857 5717 5938
Source: Ministry of Food and Agriculture

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

Government must develop the infrastructure for efficient and healthy exports of the horticultural products. The focus should be on developing airport facilities for wide bodied cargo planes landing, improving handling facilities at ports including one window operation, and establishing cold storages. Govt should also plan to establish cold chains in the country. Efforts should also be made to attract investment on built-own-operate (BOO) basis.

CONCLUSION

If we want to develop our country then we must develop its agriculture sector. In Pakistan, the major problems for the farmers are water unavailability and shortage of electricity. Govt should solve the problems of farmers and provide maximum facilities in order to have better production because it directly affects the economy of Pakistan.