Agriculture: A Rare Bright Spot in Pakistan's Economy

Pakistan's agriculture sector grew 6.3% in 2023-24, far outpacing the overall economy that grew just 2.38%, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2023-24.  This is good news for about 40% of the country's population working in the agriculture sector. By contrast, India's agriculture growth slowed to 1.2% in recent quarters. Studies have shown that strong growth in agriculture helps reduce poverty in developing nations like India and Pakistan. 

Snapshot of Pakistan's Economy. Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan...

The agriculture growth in Pakistan was the highest in 19 years. All major crops saw significant increases. Wheat output jumped 11.6% from 28.2 million tons last year to 31.4 million tons this year, the economic survey said. Cotton, severely damaged by floods and rains last year, reached 10.2 million bales compared to 4.9 million bales last year, growing by 108.2%. Rice output also saw a significant increase — up by 34.8% — reaching 9.9 million tons compared to 7.3 million tons. 

Strong crop output is in part the result of higher yields from increased water and fertilizer availability to farmers, according to the economic survey. 

The survey said the water availability during Kharif 2023 increased to 61.9 million acre-feet (MAF) from 43.3 MAF in Kharif 2022 (when the floods hit). For Rabi 2023-24, the water availability was 30.6 MAF, showing an increase of 4.1% over Rabi 2022-23.

Domestic fertilizer production during FY24 (July-March) rose by 17.3% to 3.25 million tons compared to 2.77 million tons in the same period of FY23. Fertilizer imports also increased by 23.7%, reaching 524,000 ton­s. The availability of fertilizer increased by 18.1% to 3.77 million tons. 

Pakistan's Rice Exports Soared 80% in Current Fiscal Year. Source: FT

The value of Pakistan’s rice exports soared to $3.6 billion over the last 11 months, up from $2 billion in July to May 2022-23. Its previous record for was 4.8 million metric tons of rice exports, valued at about $2.5 billion in 2021-22, according to the Financial Times

Pakistan is among the world's largest food producing countries. It 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 $70 billion.  Improving agriculture inputs and modernizing value chains can help the farm sector become much more productive to serve both domestic and export markets.  

Agriculture is considered a key tool for reducing poverty in developing countries like Pakistan. It employs almost half of the rural workforce, contributes around 20% to the country's GDP, and provides raw materials for agro-based industries, according to a study by Yaping Liu, Asad Amin, Samma Faiz Rasool, and Qamar Uz Zaman.  However, some studies suggest that agriculture may only help mitigate rural poverty in the long term, while other sources say that sustainable agriculture practices can significantly improve agricultural production and reduce poverty.

Related Links:

Views: 42

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 15, 2024 at 10:09pm

Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban

Pakistan is selling record amounts of rice to global markets as it profits from an export ban by India, the world’s biggest exporter. Rice exports from Pakistan, the fourth-largest exporter, surged to almost 5.6mn tonnes in the 11 months to the end of May, up nearly 60 per cent on the same period a year earlier, according to official statistics.


https://www.ft.com/content/88281d0b-4d68-4f96-b499-2d006732b7c7



Pakistan's economy Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban Windfall is a boon to country hit by double-digit inflation and anaemic economic growth India continues to be the biggest supplier of rice globally, but Pakistan has increased its share of the market from 7% to about 10% © Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban on x (opens in a new window) Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban on facebook (opens in a new window) Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban on linkedin (opens in a new window) Save Susannah Savage in London and Humza Jilani in Islamabad49 MINUTES AGO 1 Print this page Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Pakistan is selling record amounts of rice to global markets as it profits from an export ban by India, the world’s biggest exporter. Rice exports from Pakistan, the fourth-largest exporter, surged to almost 5.6mn tonnes in the 11 months to the end of May, up nearly 60 per cent on the same period a year earlier, according to official statistics. The value of Pakistan’s rice exports rose to $3.6bn over the period, up from $2bn in July to May 2022-23. Its previous record for was 4.8mn metric tonnes of rice exports, valued at about $2.5bn in 2021-22. The boom follows India’s decision to impose export restrictions on certain types of rice last year, in an effort to curb rising domestic prices ahead of parliamentary elections after a volatile monsoon disrupted production and spurred fears of a supply shortage. “With India imposing export restrictions . . . Pakistan emerged as a low-cost alternative,” said Elvis John, an associate editor for agricultural markets for S&P Global Commodity Insights. “Many price-sensitive destinations in Africa turned to Pakistan to fulfil demand,” he said, pointing to markets in south-east Asia and the Americas. Pakistan produced almost 10mn tonnes of rice in the nine months to the end of March, compared with 7.3mn tonnes in the same period a year earlier, the Pakistani government wrote in its annual economic survey released on June 11. The 2022-23 crop was particularly low because of the devastating floods in the summer of 2022, said Faizan Ghori, director of Matco Foods, Pakistan’s largest basmati rice exporter. But even compared with the year before the floods, the current export growth “comes to about 20 per cent, which is still very impressive”, he said, attributing the boost to India’s export ban. For Pakistan, the windfall revenues and rebound in production have provided a much-needed source of foreign exchange for the country of 240mn, which is struggling with double-digit inflation, anaemic economic growth and soaring public debt. Global rice prices surged to decade highs after New Delhi implemented export restrictions in July. Poorer countries in Africa, which typically buy large amounts of rice from India, were particularly affected. “Rice prices are still high and I would expect will remain high until India removes the ban,” said Joseph Glauber, senior research fellow at food security think-tank International Food Policy Research Institute.


Despite the export ban, India continues to be the biggest supplier of rice globally, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, and Pakistan, said John, but Pakistan has increased its share in the market to about 10 per cent, up from 7 per cent in the previous year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 16, 2024 at 9:13am

Pakistani YouTubers And Praise India Movement in Pakistan - India Today

"Indians love people from abroad lauding their achievements, but seem to derive the biggest satisfaction when Pakistanis gush over India's success. Pakistanis have understood that and have tapped into that, creating an entire industry of YouTubers in Pakistan"


https://www.indiatoday.in/sunday-special/story/praise-india-movemen...


-------


There is a Praise India Movement in Pakistan if one goes by the pro-India videos being churned out by Pakistani YouTubers. If some are praising India's space programme, others are talking about its economic and political successes. Why are Pakistanis creating such YouTube videos, and that too, in such huge numbers?

"India did a big favour to Pakistan. It was also a tight slap for those Pakistanis who said India would deliberately lose to the USA to get Pakistan out of the T20 World Cup tournament. India is the world's number one team, and can never lose to the US," a man in a black salwar kameez states emphatically, looking at the camera. The person isn't an Indian gushing at India's victory over the USA in a T20 World Cup match, but a Pakistani speaking to a popular Pakistani YouTuber at a market in Pakistan.

The video by YouTuber Shaila Khan on her channel Naila Pakistani Reaction has over 3 lakh views in a day.

Indians love people from abroad lauding their achievements, but seem to derive the biggest satisfaction when Pakistanis gush over India's success. Pakistanis have understood that and have tapped into that, creating an entire industry of YouTubers in Pakistan.

There are 5,500 channels and over 84,000 videos just with the hashtag pakistanireactiononindia on YouTube. The number of channels, tracked by IndiaToday.In since November 2023, has grown by 1,000 in a matter of six months. Over 5,000 videos have been added under this hashtag since November.

We are talking about just one hashtag. There are several others with India-related content, some of which every Indian would have come across while scrolling through shorts and videos on YouTube.

This content boom by Pakistani YouTubers has sparked a Praise India Movement in Pakistan.

Seeing is believing, especially if it is about YouTube.

So, just try keying in #Pakistani on the YouTube search bar. The first few results are Pakistani Reaction, Pakistani Reaction on India and Pakistani Public Reaction -- all to do with content related to India.

Such is the rage that even #PakistaniDrama, one of Pakistan's biggest cultural exports, trends below the #PakistaniReaction.

WHAT ARE THE PRO-INDIA VIDEOS PAKISTANIS ARE CREATING
There was a flood of videos by Pakistani YouTubers lauding Team India right after their victory over the USA.

Though cricket is one of the favourites, the range of 'praise India' videos spans from India's economic might to infrastructural developments; from gastronomic delights to space programmes. Then there are videos of Pakistanis describing in amazement their wonderful discoveries during their first visit to India.

You name it, and they have it. There are Pakistani reaction clips to every Top 10 video, featuring India's shopping malls, highways, airports, college campuses, cars, bikes and even golgappas.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 17, 2024 at 5:23pm

Pakistan's fruit exports up 17.85% in first ten months of current fiscal year

https://www.freshplaza.com/asia/article/9629192/pakistan-s-fruit-ex...

Pakistan's fruit exports experienced a 17.85% rise in the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. This increase is documented by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), highlighting an escalation from 232,700 million dollars to 274,227 million dollars during July-April (2023-24). Furthermore, a significant 29.32% year-on-year growth was observed in April 2024, with exports reaching 8.161 million dollars against the 6.311 million dollars recorded in April 2023.

Despite the annual growth, a month-on-month comparison shows a 58.51% decrease in April 2024 from 19.629 million dollars in March 2024. Additionally, Pakistan's overall merchandise exports saw a 9.10% increase during the first ten months of the fiscal year 2023-24, totaling 25.280 billion dollars as opposed to 23.171 billion dollars in the same timeframe of the previous year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 19, 2024 at 8:34am

Pakistan exports first shipment of cherries to China | Article | Fruitnet

https://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit/pakistan-exports-first-shipment-...


Pakistan has shipped its first consignment of fresh cherries to China marking the opening of Asia’s largest market for the industry.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) announced the shipment was dispatched to China on 5 June. It said under the phytosanitary agreement with China over 100 orchards have been registered with China’s General Administration of Customs.

According to a report from Dawn, the first shipment contained 6 tonnes of cherries and was transported by refrigerated truck over the border. The cherries were grown in key the key production region of Gilgit-Baltistan, which produces approximately 5,000 tonnes a season.

Following the initial shipment Pakistan hopes to ramp up supply and send 260 tonnes of cherries to China by the end of the month.

The Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC) has been working with the local cherry industry on development, helping to educate growers on producing popular varieties.

PHDEC chief executive Athar Hussain Khokhar said by producing the required varieties of cherries, the country can capture a slice of the China market.

“Proximity and growing demand for the fruit in the Chinese market are a major competitive advantage to Gilgit-Baltistan growers,” Khokhar said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2024 at 7:07am

#Pakistan’s 27% #Stock Rally (in US$ terms) Leads in Asia With More Gains Seen. #India stocks up 8% so far in 2024. The case for more #KSE100 gains is strengthening on the back of one of the cheapest valuations in #Asia #economy #IMF https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pakistan-27-stock-rally-leads-230003...

https://x.com/haqsmusings/status/1805965145941966996

--------

(Bloomberg) -- The bull run in Pakistani stocks looks to have more legs as signs of improving economic conditions bolster the outlook for Asia’s best-performing market this year.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pakistan-27-stock-rally-leads-230003...

The case for more gains is strengthening on the back of one of the cheapest valuations in Asia and the budget laying the groundwork to secure a new loan from the International Monetary Fund, according to strategists. A stable rupee and easing inflation boosting the prospect for rate cuts are other positives.

The KSE 100 Index, which has outperformed Asian peers with a 27% surge in dollar terms this year, is likely to further extend gains by 10% by year-end, according to brokerages Topline Securities Ltd. and Arif Habib Ltd.

“There’s a lot of juice left in this rally,” said Ali Hussain, head of research at Dubai-based Frontier Investment Management Partners Ltd. “Cheap valuations, high positive real rates and a fairly valued currency make a very attractive case right now,” he said.

Even while the stocks tested new record highs in recent days, the index remains quite cheap, with a one-year forward earnings-based valuation of 3.8 times, a 50% discount to its lifetime average.

Pakistan earlier this month raised taxes on several industries including cement, automobile and steel to support the government’s finances as it looks to comply with the IMF guidelines. The IMF program is critical for the country to help meet its debt payments of about $24 billion in the next fiscal year.

Still, the beleaguered nation remains exposed to political instability given the split mandate in February this year. The main coalition partner - Pakistan Peoples Party — could easily walk away in the event of a public backlash to austerity measures taken to fulfill the IMF’s conditions for loans, according to Bloomberg Economics. That may even topple the government, BE said.

The KSE 100’s 14-day relative strength index surpassed the 70 level on Thursday. That is typically seen as representing overbought levels, raising the prospect of a correction.

Meanwhile, investors remain bullish. The market momentum over the next two to three years is likely to be driven by foreign buying, earnings growth and robust local liquidity, according to Karachi-based securities firm Arif Habib.

“With the new IMF program spanning the next three years, we anticipate a favorable external position, supporting continued bullish market sentiment,” said Bilal Khan, head of institutional equity sales at Arif Habib.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 3, 2024 at 10:53am

“There is stabilisation but no substantial growth, which is likely to manifest in slow growth as industry is so dependent on imports,” Safiya Aftab, an Islamabad-based economist, told Al Jazeera. “Employment is not increasing, and bills are becoming unaffordable.”


https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2024/6/12/is-pakistans-crisis-rid...


Ahead of the country’s budget on Wednesday, inflation is down, forex reserves are up. But analysts warn it’s early days.

The Pakistani government will present its annual budget on Wednesday, seeking to balance domestic commitments to the country’s 240 million people and demands of fiscal prudence from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a key source of loans.

Aiming to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate to more than 3.5 percent from 2.38 percent in the outgoing fiscal year, the country is looking to revive its economy, which has faced a nearly two-year slump following political volatility.


Pakistani authorities have held multiple meetings with the IMF recently. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who came to power as the head of a patchwork coalition after the February elections, has been at the forefront of these efforts.

Sharif recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and China – countries considered Pakistan’s closest allies and key to supporting its economy – to discuss opportunities for driving foreign direct investment in Pakistan.

But is Pakistan’s economy showing signs of revival? Are the government’s measures helping everyday people? And what do analysts think the next budget should prioritise?

Is Pakistan’s economy truly showing signs of revival?
Latest figures from the country’s central bank and international bodies like the IMF paint a cautiously optimistic economic forecast.

Pakistan’s inflation, which had skyrocketed to 38 percent a year ago in May 2023, has slowed down to 11.8 percent over the past 12 months, as reported by Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics. A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of wheat, which would cost more than 130 rupees ($0.47) last year in May, is down to 102 rupees ($0.37) this year.

Fuel prices have also shown a declining trend, down from 288 rupees ($1.03) per litre (0.26 gallons) in May 2023, to 268 rupees ($0.96) per litre at present.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2024 at 1:18pm

Pakistan stands as the world’s 5th largest mango producer

https://www.freshplaza.com/latin-america/article/9642058/pakistan-s...

Pakistan stands as the world's 5th largest mango producer, offering 24 unique varieties. The mango season, active from May to August, is centered in Punjab and Sindh, home to the Sindhri and Chaunsa varieties. Despite its global standing, Pakistan exports only 6 to 7% of its mango production, facing challenges in production, processing, transportation, and compliance with international standards.

This year, production declined due to pests and climate issues, yet the country continues to meet domestic demand and export. The majority of exports, about 75%, target GCC countries via sea, air, and land. Efforts to improve air shipment logistics are in progress to maintain quality and competitive pricing.

Enhancing branding and packaging is vital for competing internationally. Unlike Mexico and India, Pakistani mangoes lack a strong global brand, affecting their pricing abroad. Streamlining regulatory compliance and export procedures is also crucial for smoother market access.

Strategic initiatives aim to strengthen marketing, upgrade processing facilities, and explore new markets in Europe, Africa, Iran, and China. These efforts are expected to diversify export destinations and support the sector's sustainable growth.

With targeted efforts to address challenges and seize opportunities, Pakistan aims to boost its mango exports, contributing to economic growth and its global trade footprint.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2024 at 1:20pm

Pakistan stands as the world’s 5th largest mango producer

https://www.freshplaza.com/latin-america/article/9642058/pakistan-s...

Pakistan stands as the world's 5th largest mango producer, offering 24 unique varieties. The mango season, active from May to August, is centered in Punjab and Sindh, home to the Sindhri and Chaunsa varieties. Despite its global standing, Pakistan exports only 6 to 7% of its mango production, facing challenges in production, processing, transportation, and compliance with international standards.

This year, production declined due to pests and climate issues, yet the country continues to meet domestic demand and export. The majority of exports, about 75%, target GCC countries via sea, air, and land. Efforts to improve air shipment logistics are in progress to maintain quality and competitive pricing.

Enhancing branding and packaging is vital for competing internationally. Unlike Mexico and India, Pakistani mangoes lack a strong global brand, affecting their pricing abroad. Streamlining regulatory compliance and export procedures is also crucial for smoother market access.

Strategic initiatives aim to strengthen marketing, upgrade processing facilities, and explore new markets in Europe, Africa, Iran, and China. These efforts are expected to diversify export destinations and support the sector's sustainable growth.

With targeted efforts to address challenges and seize opportunities, Pakistan aims to boost its mango exports, contributing to economic growth and its global trade footprint.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2024 at 1:21pm

As climate change threatens Pakistan mango exports, surge in Middle East demand offers some hope

https://www.arabnews.pk/node/2545171/pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (APFVEA) said on Sunday that Pakistan might not meet its target of exporting 100,000 metric tons of mangoes this year due to adverse effects of climate change on its production, with officials pinning their hopes on a surge in demand from the Middle East.

Pakistan is the world’s fourth-largest mango producer and the fruit export generates millions of dollars in revenue annually, according to the APFVEA. Additionally, mangoes serve as a cultural symbol and a diplomatic tool that help the government strengthen international connections.

Pakistan has faced mango export challenges in recent years due to adverse weather, and pest and fruit fly infestation, with production declining for the third consecutive year in 2024.

The country produces around 1,800,000 metric tons of mangoes annually, with 70 percent grown in Punjab, 29 percent in Sindh and one percent grown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“We had set a target of exporting 100,000 metric tons of mangoes this season, but it seems unachievable due to the pronounced negative impact of climate change on Pakistan’s mango orchards resulting in less production and a lack of export-quality mangoes,” Muhammad Shehzad Sheikh, the APFVEA chairman, told Arab News.

Due to the weather this year, he said, mango production was down by up to 40 percent in Punjab and 20 percent in Sindh, reducing the overall production by around 600,000 metric tons.

He said the APFVEA reduced this year’s target because it could not achieve the export target of 125,000 metric tons last year and exported only 100,000 metric tons of mangoes in 2023.

“With the export of 100,000 metric tons of mangoes during the current season, if achieved, a valuable foreign exchange of $90 million would be generated,” Sheikh said.

Expressing grave concerns, the APFVEA chairman said the effects of climate change on fruit cultivation, particularly mangoes, as well as on the larger agricultural sector were intensifying with each passing year.

“Extended winters, heavy rains, hailstorms and subsequent severe heatwaves have altered disease patterns throughout the seasons,” he explained, stressing an urgent need for research-based solutions to mitigate these effects and warning that failure to promptly do so could further jeopardize mango production and exports.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 10, 2024 at 7:58pm

‘Note ban, GST, COVID shocks cost ₹11.3 lakh cr., 1.6 crore informal sector jobs’

India Ratings says in FY23, GVA in the economy by unincorporated businesses was 1.6% below 2015-16 levels; firm estimates 63 lakh informal enterprises shut down between FY16 and FY23

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/note-ban-gst-covid-shocks...

In 2022-23, the Gross-Value Added (GVA) in the economy by such unincorporated enterprises was still 1.6% below 2015-16 levels. Moreover, their compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) was 7.4% between 2010-11 and 2015-16, but slipped into a 0.2% contraction since then, the rating firm reckoned based on the recently released findings of the government’s Annual Survey of Unincorporated Sector Enterprises (ASUSE).

------

The latest data suggests that the real GVA of unincorporated firms in manufacturing, trade and other services (MTO) was ₹9.51 lakh crore in 2022-23, with an 18.2% share in India’s real MTO GVA, falling sharply from 25.7% in 2015-16.

“The shrinkage has been sharper in other services and trade, with the informal sector’s share dropped to 32.3% and 21.2% in 2022-23 from the pre-shock level of 46.9% and 34.3%, respectively. In the manufacturing sector, the share of the informal sector fell to 10.2%, from 12.5% during the same period,” the firm said in its report.


-----

Had the macro shocks not taken place during the post 2015-16 period and the growth in these enterprises followed the pattern between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the total number of such firms would have reached 7.14 crore in 2022-23, with the number of workers employed rising to 12.53 crore, India Ratings concluded.

The unorganised sector contributes over 44% to the country’s GVA and employs nearly 75% of the work force employed in non-agricultural enterprises, as per the 2022-23 Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Solar Power Boom in Pakistan

    Falling solar panel prices and soaring rates for grid electricity are driving a renewable power boom in Pakistan. A second factor spurring the growth in clean energy installations is the requirement of major western apparel brands for garments and textile manufacturers to switch to clean energy. As a result, the solar panel imports in the country jumped from 2,800 MW in 2022 to 5,000 MW in 2023, in…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on July 10, 2024 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

    Pakistani Stock Market is the World's Best Performing Market in 2024

    Pakistan's KSE-100 shares index topped 80,000 points on Wednesday as stocks climbed more than 600 points, making it the world's best performing stock market. The benchmark KSE-100 index has posted an annual return of 89% during FY24 (July 2023-June 2024) in PKR terms while in US dollar terms, the return was 94%, as the Pakistani rupee appreciated against the US dollar, according to …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on July 4, 2024 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

    © 2024   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service