Pakistan ranks among the top ten producers in the world for at least 25 agricultural commodities. If significant developments are made on the value addition and marketing end, Pakistan is likely to experience a boost to the already high export potential of its fresh and processed agricultural products. It is an untapped market and foreign and local investors together can help develop it.
- Pakistan’s dense and diverse canal irrigation network ranks among the world’s largest.
- Punjab, often called Pakistan’s granary for its largely self-sustaining agrarian character, possesses considerable differential agricultural advantage over other provinces.
- Alongside being the dominant producer of major crops like wheat (80%), cotton (75%), sugarcane (64%) and rice (58%), Punjab is the economical hub of majority of the agri-processing downstream industries.
- Due to its agricultural heritage, Punjab enjoys a well established infrastructure network with over 40,000 km of farm to market access roads.
- Punjab caters for 95% of Pakistan’s total citrus production, of which Pakistan is the 5th largest producer in the world.
- Total area of over 17 million hectares, a vast 1.7 million hectares of prime fertile land is still available for investments in agricultural production and corporate farming.
- As much as 30% (3.4 MT) of horticultural produce that goes waste every year can be convertedinto economic gain by investing in agribusiness value chain industries like dried fruits and vegetables industry, fruit pulp processing and juice production etc.
- Pakistan is the world’s 10th largest rice producer, 4th largest rice exporter and 2nd largest foreign exchange earner for rice trade but lacks facilities for production and export of parboiled rice. With parboiled being the fastest growing rice product in the international market, however, any investment in parboiled and other rice technologies can win significant export earnings.
- Additional investments in handling and processing can increase Pakistan’s exportable horticultural produce by 50%.
- With urbanization and rising per capita incomes, consumption patterns in many of Pakistan’s neighboring countries like India have shifted from traditional food grains to high value fruits and vegetables and processed foods. Thus, with investments in value addition, Pakistan may benefit from higher exports of processed foods like dried vegetables, citrus extracts, fruit juice pulps among a host of others to surrounding countries are especially lucrative.
- Corporate farming
- Parboiled rice and investments in other rice technologies
- Edible oil extraction
- Integrated cold chain systems
- Fertilizer, pesticide and other agricultural implements production
- Fruit and vegetable dehydration
- Fruit juice pulping