In Pakistan, farm production is dominated by a few crops which account for almost 60 percent of GDP from agriculture. The most important crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output. Cropping systems vary widely because of variations in agro-climatic and soil conditions. Wheat is the major winter crop in all regions of the country. In summer, rice, cotton, and maize are grown in areas suitable for their production. The economic significance of different major crops is briefly described in the following paragraphs.
Wheat is the leading food grain of Pakistan. It is a grassy shaped plant and its height between 2.5 feet to 4 feet. When it is cultivated its growth start and the number of grains on a plant depends upon the quality of seed, climatic condition and fertility of soil. Wheat is cultivated almost all regions of Pakistan and it occupies an important position in the crops of moderate regions as compared to other crops. Wheat is cultivated thousands of years ago and in the beginning it was cultivated in the western Asian countries and in Nile, Sindh and Dajla valley.
In our country wheat is produced on large scale. For the cultivation of wheat loamy soil having proper quantity of sand and clay is very suitable. Wheat production requires suitable temperature at the time of plantation of the crop i.e. 500 to 600 F. The temperature rises up to 700 F at the time of plantation which is harmful for the plant and its growth. The areas having 20” to 30” rainfall are more suitable for wheat plantation. Wheat accounts for 9.6 percent of the value added in agriculture and 1.9 percent of GDP of Pakistan. During 2016-17, sown on an area of 9052 thousand hectares that show a decrease of 1.9 percent compared to 9224 thousand hectares during same period last year.
Wheat production was estimated at 25.750 million tons during 2016 showing an increase of 0.5 percent over the last year’s production of 25.633 million tons. The production increased due to a better supply of inputs which contributed in enhancing per hectare yield.
Rice is also an important element of human diet. Pakistan does not receive enough rainfall for the growth of rice. The areas which receive comparatively more rain are favored for the cultivation of rice. Rice is not grown as widely as wheat in Pakistan. The grassy-shaped rice plant is produced mostly in the areas having of hot and moist climates. At the time of sowing rice, the temperature should not be less than 700F but at the time of cultivation if the temperature increases from 800F to 900F there is no harm at all. Rice is a plant of water, so the areas where annual rainfall is less than 40” cannot be carried out for cultivation without irrigation system. As the plant grow the requirement of water increases. For cultivation of rice alluvial clay soil is best and most suitable.
Rice share in agriculture sector is 3.0 percent and 0.6 percent of GDP. During 2016-17, rice crop was shown on area of 2724 thousand hectares showing a decrease of 0.6 percent over the last year’s area of 2793 thousand hectares. Production of rice decreased due to decline in domestic prices of rice which reduced the area under the crop and growers shifted to sugarcane and maize crop.
Maize is the highest-yielding cereal crop in the world and it is a plant of tropical regions. In Pakistan maize is third important cereal after wheat and rice. In Pakistan, maize crop is sown mainly in two seasons; spring and the autumn season. Spring maize can be planted in the first week of February up to first week of March while the sowing time for autumn maize starts from the last week of July and ends in mid of August. Maize can be sown on both flat soils as well as on the ridges. Ridge sowing is better for water saving.
The most suitable soil for cultivation of maize is fertile soil. Maize has prospective to play major role in nutrition of Pakistani people. It can act as the alternate food source when the conventional cereal grains are deficient. The maize cultivation does not require abundant rainfall. The areas where the rain is approximately 20” annually are suitable for its cultivation.
Maize contributes 2.7 percent in agriculture sector and 0.5 percent to GDP. During 2016-17, the cultivation of maize has increased to 1334 thousand hectares, showing a significant increase of 12.0 percent over last year’s. The record production has been achieved through the use of critical agricultural inputs (fertilizers) with an increase in uarea sown.
Sugarcane is an important cash crop of Pakistan. It is mainly grown for sugar and sugary production. Sugarcane is an important source of income and employment for the farming community of the country. This is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world in a range of climates from hot dry environment near sea level to cool and moist environments at higher elevations. Pakistan occupies an important
position in cane producing countries of the world. It ranks at the fifth position in cane acreage and production and almost 15th position in sugar production.
The goal of increasing sugar yield per unit area is difficult, time-consuming and needs dedicated efforts of government, millers and growers. Some of the measures to bring down the cost of cultivation and improve cane productivity include the selection of the right varieties, maintenance of soil health fertility, quality planting material, nutrient management, adoption of cropping systems approach, water management according to the scientists. It also forms essential item for industries like sugar, chipboard, paper, barrages, and uses in chemicals, plastics, paints, synthetics, fiber, insecticides and detergents.
During 2016-17, the production of sugarcane reached to historical high of 73.6 million tones showing an increase of 12.4%. Its production accounted for 3.4 percent in agriculture’s value addition and 0.7 percent in overall GDP. The production increased due to increase in area cultivated as it shifted from other competitive crops facing frequent distress.
Cotton is called the plant of warm temperate regions. It is known as a king of all the natural fibers. It is said, the man uses cotton cloth from his birth to death. Cotton is known as silver fiber. Mostly the color of cotton fiber is white. The cultivation of cotton requires sufficient quantity of lime, potash and nitrogen in the soil while in desert areas its plantation is impossible. The areas where there is 30 to 40 inches annually rainfall are suitable for its cultivation. Cotton crop is sown in the month of April or May and the temperature required range from 770F to 900 F. frost, moist and snow falling is not suitable for a good crop. Cotton cultivated in Pakistan is divided into Desi and American kind.
The government has set up two research centers at Multan and Tando Jam to increase the production of cotton. These centers made recommendations to use different kinds of cotton after analysis and experimentation. Government has persuaded the farmers to plant new varieties of cotton seed. During 2016-17, Cotton production was estimated at 10.671 million bales, 7.6 percent increase over the production of 9.917 million bales during 2015-16. Cotton crop has 1.0 percent share in GDP and contributes 5.2 percent in agriculture sector.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables constitute important items of food. In farming system, every farmer desires to be self-sufficient in food, including fruits and vegetables. Punjab is the producer of most of its fruits. Punjab producing 54 percent, Sindh 16 percent, Baluchistan 22 percent and KPK 8 percent fruits. Pakistan produces tropical fruits named citrus fruits, mangoes, bananas and dates etc. Different vegetables are also cultivated in different regions of Pakistan. Furthermore, climatic and soil condition do not permit every farmer to cultivate a piece of land for vegetables. About 85 percent of potato grown in Punjab province and Tomato is another important vegetable. About 15 percent of tomatoes come from Punjab, 40 percent from KPK, 25 percent from Sindh and 20 percent from Baluchistan. Other vegetables include lady fingers, bitter gourd, pumpkin, beans, radish, spinach, cabbage, sweet potatoes etc. are cultivated in different areas of Pakistan.
Vegetables Of Pakistan
Vegetables offer good value in terms of nutrients. Varied agro-climatic conditions prevailing in different provinces of the country also contribute to year round production of different kinds of vegetables with many overlaps of supply. The major vegetable grown in the country are potato, onion, chilies, tomato, turnip, okra carrot, cauliflower peas and tinda gourd covering 75% of the total area under vegetables accounting for 74% of the total production. The major share in the production is of Punjab (63%) followed by Sindh (14%), Baluchistan (12%) and KPK (11%).
Potato is grown under diverse seasons in various provinces. The autumn-sown potato is the major crop and contributes 60% to the total production in the county. It is sown in September-October and harvested in December-January. The autumn and spring crops are grown in Punjab and KPK only, whereas the hill crop is sown in Punjab, KPK and Baluchistan. The diversity in growing season of potato in different agro-ecological regions makes it possible to ensure supplies to the domestic consumers throughout the year. The spring and summer crops each contribute 20% to the total production.
Onions are grown over a number of seasons in the country. Pakistan annually produces about 1.5 million tons of onions, with an increasing trend during the past 6 years. In Sindh planting of onion starts in autumn and ends up to mid of January. About 30% of the total crop is planted in autumn and remaining 70% in winter. Onion is the most valuable crop for Malakand division. Within this region 50% comes from Swat, 28% from Dir and 4% from Malakand Agency.
Tomato is widely used in various dishes and as salad. Out of its production, 38% is contributed by each of KPK and Baluchistan provinces, and 15% and 9% by Punjab and Sindh, respectively. Tomato is grown most of the year in some parts of the county. In the hot-wet season, production shifts from lowlands to the relatively cooler and dryer highlands. Because high land production areas are limited, tomato supply dwindles in the wet season resulting in drastic price increases.
Cauliflower has a seasonal supply pattern. Summer supplies come from Abbottabad, prior to the autumn crop from Punjab and Peshawar. There is very little supply during May to July period. The opportunity for increased cauliflower production during early summer should be exploited. In Sindh seedlings of early varieties of cauliflower are raised during May to August and are transplanted from early July to September. Seedlings of imported varieties are raised in the months of September to October and transplanting is done in October and November.
The production of chilies has resulted in the raising of 85% of total production from Sindh. Punjab produces 12% and Baluchistan 3%. There is a lack of taste for chilies in KPK, so there is little interest in its production in the northwestern region. About 80% of the production comes in autumn and 20% in spring.
Turnip trade is dominated by large winter supplies with smaller volumes supplied during summer. In Punjab and KPK plains, it is extensively cultivated in Swat, mainly Kalam and to a lesser extent Malam supplies alone during the early part of the summer. In the late summer the crop comes from other hill areas particularly Mansehra and Parachinar. Turnips receive relatively good prices in the mid-summer period and continue till the start of the regular supply season.
Fruits Of Pakistan
Our country Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of Kinow (mandarin) and oranges in the world, with 2.1 million tons. Pakistan’s world mandarin and oranges market share during the year 1997 was 0.9 percent and 3.6 percent in terms of value and volume respectively. Pakistan is also the largest producer of ‘Citrus Reticula’ variety (Kinow), this unique variety of citrus is indigenous to this part of the world. According to an estimate approx. 95 percent of the total Kinow produced all over the world is grown in Pakistan.
The soil and climatic conditions in Pakistan have given the Kinow a unique flavor which distinguishes it from other comparable mandarins grown in the world. An ideal condition for growing kinow includes abundance of water, rich nitrogen content in the soil and relatively cool weather. Winter in the plains of Punjab province provides an excellent atmosphere for this fruit and the resulting fruit is sweet and has a very distinct taste.
Pakistan produces over 150 varieties of mango. Mango is the fruit par excellence of the Subcontinent. Pakistan is an important mango-growing country in the world. The soil and climatic conditions of Pakistan are highly suitable for mango cultivation. According to FAO production yearbook of 2001, Pakistan stands 5th among mango growing countries of the World. Mango enjoys second position after citrus in Pakistan.
It is grown in the province of Punjab over an area of 48413 hectares out of 94121 hectares in the country (MINFAL 99- 2000). Most of the remaining acreage is planted in Sindh. At present, (2015-16) the total annual production of fruits in Pakistan is 6.57 million tons, of which only 674 thousand tones were exported in 2015-16. Even if all of this production reaches to the consumers, per head per day availability of fruit is meagre 114 grams. Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables export make up less than 1 percent of Pakistan’s total export. That is a matter of concern when the need for diversification of export is badly felt.
The mango from Pakistan is well known for its taste and quality abroad. More than 53,000 tons of mangos is exported to neighboring and European countries, i.e. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia and Singapore etc. fetching foreign exchange. Langra, Dusehri, Samar Behisht, Chaunsa, Anwar Ratol are important varieties grown in Punjab. Sindhri, Bagan Pali, Suwarneka, Neelum and Gulab Khas are leading ones from Sindh.
It is all time favorite fruit for most Pakistanis, especially because of its sweet and refreshing quality to combat the deadly heat. And the feeling one gets if given the middle part, without the seeds, is quite invigorating.
The fruit is low in sodium, fat and rich in Vitamin C and plays role in curing some fatal diseases and are said to be good for heart. It is a shrub or small tree growing to 8 m tall. The leaves are broadly rounded, 5–18 cm long and broad. The fruit is an edible drupe 5–12 mm diameter, purple to black when ripe.
Peaches are believed to be the “Queen” of fruits and have the very next position after the apples in popularity. Fresh peach is comprised of very healthy nutrient. It has a rich source of vitamins A and C and also contains potassium and fiber. The Peach season usually starts in May and continues till the first week of September. In Pakistan the environment is quite favorable for Peach production. Peach is a traditional crop of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Peach is regarded as one of the most admired fruit grown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Swat, Balochistan and the northern areas of Pakistan including Peshawar, Parachinar, Chitral, Hazara, Quetta, Pashin, Ziarat, Mastung, Skurdu, Hunza and Murree hills. Due to its delicious flavor and high demand, farmers not only meet the local requirement but also aimed at foreign markets for export.
Native to the Subcontinent, Jamun, when sprinkled and shaken up in black salt are so delectable that they’re hard to put down until the whole bowl is finished. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavor and tends to color the tongue purple. The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments.
The pulp of the fruit extracts from the bark and seeds is of great benefit when it comes to lowering of blood glucose level. Taking dried extract of the seeds orally, greatly reduces the blood sugar and glucosuria. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C. Read more
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