Pakistan Agriculture: Record Harvests Forecast After Heavy Monsoon Rains

In the first few months of 2022,  Pakistan has exported more rice to China than Vietnam, the historic top supplier, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Pakistan's total rice exports are forecast to jump by 450,000 tons to 4.8 million tons, almost 30% higher than the prior year. 

Women Farmers Planting Rice in Pakistan. Source: Reuters

 

Pakistan experienced broad-based economic growth across all key sectors in FY 21-22; manufacturing posted 9.8% growth, services 6.2% and agriculture 4.4%. The 4.4% growth in agriculture is particularly welcome; it helps reduce rural poverty.  The country is expected to have yet another record year for agriculture in 2022-23 after heavy monsoon rains. Rice is an important food crop in Pakistan  but 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 has forced the government to import wheat at a time of high prices amid the war in Ukraine, a major wheat exporter. 

A Cotton Field in Pakistan

 

The recent monsoon rains will help to kick-start the sowing of major Kharif (autumn) crops including rice, cotton, sugarcane and corn after about a month's delay.  “There was 40% less water available for the Kharif season (during May-June 2022),” an official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said while talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday. Earlier in March this year, Pakistan's Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) had said “for the Kharif year 2022, the water availability in canals head will be 65.84 million acre feet (MAF) against last year’s 65.08 MAF”. Recent rains have helped fill up major water reservoirs across the country.  About 150,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released from Pakistan's largest Tarbela dam which is more than the combined irrigation needs of the two provinces.  It is also generating over 3,000 MW of electricity, according to media reports

Heavy 2022 Monsoon Rainfall. Source: Pakistan Met Office 

“Cotton production is expected to improve to 9.5-10 million bales (one bale weighs 170 kg) in the wake of ongoing rainfall in cotton belts in Punjab and Sindh,” said Pakistan Central Cotton Committee Vice President Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur. “Cotton production will remain high, as farmers have improved crop management in the backdrop of higher prices in the domestic (and international) market.”

Drought Map of Pakistan. Source: Relief Web

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.  

Pakistan's Thar Desert After Monsoon 2022. Source: Emmanuel Guddu 

Pakistanis are eating more and healthier foods, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2021-22. Per capita average daily calorie intake in Pakistan has jumped to 2,735 calories in FY 2021-22 from 2,457 calories in 2019-20. The biggest contributor to it is the per capita consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables which soared from 53.6 Kg to 68.3 Kg, less than half of the 144 Kg (400 grams/day) recommended by the World Health Organization. Healthy food helps cut disease burdens and reduces demand on the healthcare system. Under former Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership, Pakistan succeeded in achieving these nutritional improvements in spite of surging global food prices amid the Covid19 pandemic

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.  

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Views: 93

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 27, 2022 at 9:40pm

#Pakistan buying 250,000-300,000 tons of #French #wheat. A severe #drought in Pakistan & the impact of higher #fertilizer prices have led the country to make large purchases on world market where supplies have tightened amid #UkraineWar. #food #agriculture https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/grains-soybeans-corn-h...

Traders purchased between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes of French wheat aimed for Pakistan as part of a tender last week, European traders said on Tuesday, in a further sign that importing countries are turning to western Europe to fill a gap left by missing Black Sea grain.

A severe drought in Pakistan and the impact of higher fertilizer prices have led the country to make large purchases on the world market where supplies have tightened since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. China had also made hefty wheat purchases last week. Traders said purchases included around 1 million tonnes of Australian wheat, both for animal feed and flour milling, and about 350,000-400,000 tonnes of French wheat.

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Chicago soybeans futures hit a two-week high while corn hit a one-week high on Wednesday as renewed concerns over hot and dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest continued to support the market. Wheat extended gains on growing doubts that an agreement to reopen maritime grain exports out of Ukraine would be implemented soon.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.6% to $6.04-1/2 a bushel, as of 1141 GMT, after climbing earlier in the session to its highest since July 19 at $6.05-1/2 bushel. Soybeans rose 1% to $13.97-1/4 a bushel after hitting $14.02 a bushel, the highest since July 12, and wheat gained 1.3% to $8.14 a bushel

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly condition ratings for corn, soybeans and spring wheat on Monday fell more than most analysts expected, while upcoming forecasts call for more sweltering heat across the U.S. Midwest and Plains.

Strong international wheat demand and uncertainty about Ukrainian grain exports was underpinning wheat prices. A Turkish official said the first Ukraine grain exports were likely this week under a deal signed by Russia and Ukraine on Friday and brokered by Ankara and the United Nations. However, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister said on Wednesday the deal could collapse if obstacles to Russia's agricultural exports were not promptly removed, Interfax reported.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 3, 2022 at 10:16am

Maersk and SEED Ventures collaborate to improve agricultural exports from Pakistan
July 28, 2022
By Jack Donnelly

https://www.porttechnology.org/news/maersk-and-seed-ventures-collab...

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.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 4, 2022 at 8:56pm

Pakistan: Sugar Annual | USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/pakistan-sugar-annual-5

Due to slight increases in area and sugarcane yields, sugar production in 2022/23 is forecast to reach 7.2 million metric tons (MMT), a marginal increase over the good 2021/22 crop. Sugar consumption for 2022/23 is forecast at 6.1 MMT, which would be a 3.3 percent increase, reflecting population growth and demand from the expanding food processing sector. The production estimate for 2021/22 is increased reflecting the excellent crop last year. As a result, ending stocks are higher, leading to a larger exportable surplus entering 2022/23. Due to the large stocks, and competitive prices, sugar exports are forecast to reach one million tons in 2022/23.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 4, 2022 at 8:57pm

Pakistan Rice exports: $2.5 billion in 2021-22: Will the rally continue? - BR Research

It had become expected, but it certainly didn’t start that way. Pakistan’s annual rice exports earnings breached $2.5 billion during FY22 for the first time in history, growing 23 percent over the previous year. Rice exporters added nearly half a billion more in export earnings, the largest increase in exports outside of traditional categories such as garments and apparel.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 6, 2022 at 4:14pm

Flash floods kill 550 in Pakistan in heaviest rains in decades

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/05/asia/pakistan-flash-floods-kill-550-...

Flash floods caused by abnormally heavy monsoon rains killed at least 549 people in Pakistan over the past month, with remote communities in the impoverished southwestern province of Balochistan among the hardest hit, a government agency said.

Government agencies and the army have set up aid and relief camps in flood-hit regions and are working to help relocate families and provide food and medicine.
Aside from the fatalities, the flooding had damaged more than 46,200 houses, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday.
"We're doing our best to provide for extensive relief and rehabilitation of flood victims," Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said during a visit to stricken areas.

But the Balochistan provincial government said it needed more funds and appealed to international organizations for assistance.
"Our losses are massive," the province's Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bezenjo said.

There were food shortages in every district hit by the flooding, with some also disconnected from the rest of the province due to more than 700 kilometers of roads being washed away.
Bezenjo said his province needed "huge assistance" from the government and from international aid agencies.
The past month was the wettest in three decades, with 133% more rain than the average for the past 30 years, the disaster authority said. Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, received 305% more rain than the annual average, the disaster agency said.

August 6, 2022 at 4:12 PM

 Delete

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 6, 2022 at 4:16pm

United Nations Pakistan
@UNinPak
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported an overall increase of 180% in the Monsoon rainfall this year. In Balochistan, instead of the expected 63 mm, 163 mm rainfall was recorded – an alarming 450% deviation - leading to flooding in 23 out of 35 districts.

https://twitter.com/UNinPak/status/1555596953576247298?s=20&t=n...

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

Pakistan’s total grains imports, all of which are wheat, in 2021-22 are forecast at 2 million tonnes, down from 4 million the year before. The country is expected to export 200,000 tonnes of wheat, the same amount as in 2020-21.

https://www.world-grain.com/articles/15862-focus-on-pakistan

Production of rice in 2021-22 is forecast at 7.8 million tonnes, up from 7.6 million the year before. Exports of rice in 2021-22 are put at 4.2 million tonnes, up from 4 million.

The IGC also forecasts Pakistan’s imports of rapeseed at 900,000 tonnes, unchanged from the previous year.

In an annual report on June 24, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) attaché puts Pakistan’s maize production in 2021-22 at a record 7.9 million tonnes, up from 7.8 million the previous year.

“Wheat is Pakistan’s largest crop, in terms of area sown and is grown under different agro-ecological zones,” the attaché explained. “In irrigated areas, wheat is planted after cotton, rice, and sugarcane, while in rainfed areas wheat is grown at the same time as maize and millet.

“Sowing of wheat takes place from October to December and harvests from the month of 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 or ‘Rabi’ season.”

The attaché added, “Wheat is Pakistan’s main dietary staple. Pakistan has a variety of traditional flat breads, often prepared in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor.”

Wheat flour contributes 72% of calorific intake, with per capita wheat consumption at around 124 kilograms per person each year, one of the highest levels in the world. About 95% of wheat used in Pakistan goes for human consumption.

“As incomes increase and a stronger middle class emerges, consumers are gradually shifting toward more dairy, meat, and other higher-value food products in their diet,” the report said. “Over the long term, this shift to a more balanced diet has the potential to limit the pace of growth in wheat consumption.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

MITHI: As many as 70 goats perished when lightning struck them in a village near Islamkot town during heavy rain that battered several parts of Tharparkar on Friday, though it redoubled joys of Tharis, whose very survival was dependent on rain.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1703753/third-spell-of-rain-lashes-lower-...


HYDERABAD: The new spell of rainfall forecasted to begin for the day began lashing lower Sindh late on Saturday night and continued for quite some time in Tharparkar, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Badin, Thatta, Tando Mohammad Khan, Matiari and Tando Allahyar districts. Luckily, no loss of life was reported from any part of the province.

Rain started at around 9pm and continued for over 45 minutes in Hyderabad, Matiari and Tando Allahyar district, hub of sugar cane production in Sindh, where it would benefit cane crop but it might prove detrimental to cotton that was sensitive to rain.

Rain in the catchment area of Darawat Dam in Jamshoro district increased the dam’s level by 0.5 meter, raising it from 112.70 meter to 112.75 meter. The dam had achieved its maximum storage level due to heavy rainfall when its spillways started operating for the first time since the reservoirs’ completion a few days back.

12mm of rainfall was recorded in Hyderabad city’s meteorological office and 9mm at the airport office. After 45 minutes of rain another spell visited the city at around 12am which continued or around 20 minutes. Since July 14 to 25, a total of 308mm of rain had been recorded at Met city office and 246mm from July 4 to 25 at Met airport office.

Meanwhile, Sukkur barrage reached medium flood level at 6pm on Aug 6 with downstream discharge at 350,045 cusecs and upstream discharge at 381,015 cusecs. On Aug 7, Sukkur barrage downstream discharge remained 350,080 cusecs and upstream at 384,560 cusecs, according to officials.

Guddu barrage was now having low flood with 370,836 cusecs at its upstream and 343,990 cusecs discharge at 6pm on Saturday. Kotri barrage was having normal flows with its upstream discharge recorded at 196,855 cusecs and downstream at 187,780 cusecs at 6pm the same day. Flows have lately dropped in the river system at all barrages in Punjab.

Growers’ bodies are demanding waiver in recovery of taxes and loans from farmers in rain-hit areas in the province where widespread damage to crops was reported during the first spell of rain in July when 85pc date crop in Khairpur was washed away.

MITHI: As many as 70 goats perished when lightning struck them in a village near Islamkot town during heavy rain that battered several parts of Tharparkar on Friday, though it redoubled joys of Tharis, whose very survival was dependent on rain.

The rainfall in hilly areas of Nagarparkar was recorded at 45mm. It had started raining in Mithi, Chhachhro, Islamot, Dahli talukas late on Thursday night and continued on Friday.

The weather websites including Pakistan Meteorological Department forecast more intermittent heavy rainfall in Tharparkar and other parts of the province till Aug 15.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

The country is expected to produce record-breaking over 9 million tonnes of rice against all odds in the current fiscal year against the 8.9m tonnes produced in 2021-22.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1703979

The US Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN report for July 2022 forecasts a lower production at 8.4m tonnes in Pakistan.

However, local rice sector experts expect that Pakistan will harvest more than 9m tonnes of paddy in the forthcoming season because of weather conditions, increase in acreage and better availability of farm inputs.

“Above normal rain in July and the first week of August, late sowing of paddy in cotton fields of Sindh and south Punjab which were damaged due to heavy rains, will push for a record rice production,” says Hamid Malik.

The country has a carryover stock of around 1m tonnes but higher consumption of corn for animal feed purposes will leave more exportable surplus during FY23.

“Pakistan has big chances of rice exports up to 5m tonnes during the FY23 because of lower paddy production of over 10m tonnes in India as the crop was hit by erratic rains of monsoon there, Chinese crop was affected by high temperature, and Vietnam suffered untimely rain at harvesting time,” he says.

Due to these factors, global rice production will come down to 515m tonnes this year as against 519m tonnes last year leaving a gap of 4-5 million tonnes on the supply side, he estimates, adding global average price is expected to be higher than that of the ongoing season.

About the Basmati growers, he says they may get a lesser price for their produce this year but with higher per acre yield and a cut in expenses for pumping out subsoil water due to rains and better availability of urea may give them consolation.

He predicts that prices of non-Basmati rice varieties in the local market will be higher this year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

Wheat Consumption Determinants and Food Security Challenges:
Evidence from Pakistan
SANIA SHAHEEN, LAL K. ALMAS, MUHAMMAD USMAN


https://wseas.com/journals/ead/2022/a865115-797.pdf

Since 1975, 27% increase in
total area and 52% increase in yield per hectare for
wheat are reported. While, 33% increase in wheat
availability per capita was deemed insufficient. In
this situation, imports of wheat were the most
apparent result due to higher growth of population.
To fulfill the dream of food self-sufficiency,
government facilitated farmers by providing high
yielding varieties, fertilizers at a subsidized rate,
irrigation water at a lower rate than tube well water
etc. Though, these facilities have not been able to
reach the desire level of output mainly due to (i)
poor economic conditions of the farmers, lack of
knowledge on the latest useful techniques and
advancement. (ii) low price of production at
harvesting time made the farmers insecure about
investments they have done for inputs. (iii)
inappropriate land levelling along with late sowing
resulted in lower production. (iv) Insufficiency,
inequity, and unreliability in water distribution are
mutually affect the farmers irrigation calendars for
the wheat crop. Water stress to wheat at sensitive
stages, hinders the entire effort of production [20].

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