Pakistan is an agricultural country. And its canal system is also one of the largest in the world. Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, which relies heavily on its significant crops. Pakistan’s principal natural resources are arable land and water. Agriculture accounts for about 18.9% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs about 42.3% of the labor force. The most agricultural province is Punjab where wheat & cotton are the most grown. Mango orchards are primarily found in Sindh and Punjab provinces, making them the world’s fourth largest producer of mangoes. pakistan spends almost 8-10 billion on importing cooking oil. Today we are going to share 8 crops that can change the fate of Pakistan. These crops will also decrease the import budget. We will also share one crop that will really change the fate of Pakistan’s economy. These crops can be beneficial not only for the country but also for the labor force. So lets check them:
So let’s talk firstly about olive. This tree is also named in Quran Pak. This tree is so beneficial that it gives fruit for over a hundred years. The olive fruit, also called an “olive”, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil; it is one of the core ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilac, jasmine, forsythia, and the true ash tree. In Pakistan, this tree can be grown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Potohar, Cholistan, and Southern Punjab. The atmosphere of these areas is very helpful for Olive trees. Olive trees can also be grown in less watered areas. This tree gives fruit after 3-4 years. As its age increases its fruit quantity also increases. On average one tree of olive gives almost thirty kg of fruit. We can produce 20-25 ltr of olive oil from 100 kg of olives. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world. The good news is that Pakistan has also become a part of the Olive Council.
2. Palm Tree
After olive, let’s talk about palm trees’ crops. This crop can be cropped easily in Pakistan and this crop can decrease the import bill in Pakistan. Farming experts have declared Pakistan as the best place for cropping palm trees. At this time Indonesia and Malaysia are 80% of the total production of palm oil in the world. But Pakistan is capable of producing palm oil due to its better atmosphere. This atmosphere is very suitable for cropping palm trees. Pakistan is the 5th largest consumer of palm oil and Pakistan has to spend a lot of money on this. According to experts, 5 lakh acres of Balochistan and Sindh are suitable for farming palm trees. Palm trees are grown in areas having plenty of water. On average 1 tree gives 25 kgs of fruit. Farmers can earn 5 times more than wheat by farming palm.
Canola oil is one of the oldest known vegetable oils which is produced from canola. There are both edible and industrial forms produced from the seed of several cultivars of the plant family Brassicaceae. Historically, it was eaten in limited quantities due to high levels of erucic acid, which is damaging to the cardiac muscle of animals This crop is necessary for fulfilling the needs for oil in Pakistan. This crop can be grown in all areas of Pakistan. Its seed is quite inexpensive. Its crop grows in 4 months. From 100 kg of canola seeds, we can get 40 liters of Oil. Farmers can earn 3-4 times more from this crop in comparison with wheat. There are many health benefits of canola oil and is also comparatively inexpensive.
The fourth crop on our list is Tea. You may be shocked to know that Pakistan is the largest consumer of Tea in the world. So it’s very necessary for Pakistan to be self-sufficient in this case. Pakistan spends 2.5 billion yearly only on tea. On average a single person consumes 1.5 kg of tea yearly. Pakistan is capable to crop its own tea. But unfortunately, no one takes it seriously. According to an estimate, a normal tea plant grows up in 3-4 years.1.5 lakh acres of Pakistan are suitable for farming tea. Areas of Kpk and Azad Kashmir are most suitable for farming tea. Almost 10 types of tea are grown in Pakistan.
5. Cannabis (بھنگ)
The fifth crop on our list is cannabis. Normally the forming of this crop is not taken seriously in Pakistan. But we can earn billions of dollars with this crop. The annual business of cannabis in the world is 30 billion which is predicted to be 95 dollars by 2025. So, Pakistan can make big business in cannabis. However, at that time, Pakistan’s share in this business is not equal even to salt in the flour. The environment of Pakistan is also very suitable for cannabis. A single unit or factory of cannabis costs 6 to 8 billion, while a good crop can fetch up to 2 crores per acre. Cannabis is used in many medicines. Cannabis is also an important ingredient in CBD which is best for pain relief.
6. Saffron ( Zafran )
The sixth crop on our list is Zafran. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food. Saffron is a very important spice. Surprisingly there is the best atmosphere available for farming Saffron in some areas of Pakistan. Especially in the Iran-bordered areas of Balochistan. Because Iran is famous all over the world for its saffron. This crop gives the best result in cold weather. Saffron is a very expensive spice all over the world. Almost 1.5 lakh flowers are required for 1 kg of saffron. These flowers are passed through a drying process. Sometime earlier one gram of saffron was more expensive than one gram of gold.
The seventh crop on our list is Ginger. Ginger is also one of the most profitable crops. Ginger is not only used in cooking but also in drinks and medicines. Ginger is preventive for many diseases. Pakistanis like ginger too much. But unfortunately, commercial farming of ginger started some years ago. According to an estimate Pakistan imports 1 lakh tons of ginger every year. According to farming experts, ginger can be farmed in all areas of Punjab. Ginger farming needs a greenhouse that’s why farmers take it difficult. All in all, ginger is an expensive crop.
The eighth crop on our list is mushrooms. This is not only used in modern meals. The expenses of this crop are quite high. But in return, we can earn good money from this crop. There are many species of mushrooms worldwide. Mushroom is normally farmed in the greenhouse. The plains and sandy areas of Pakistan are most suitable for this crop. But this is grown in large amounts on mountains of Kpk. According to experts mushroom is a precious crop. Some species of mushrooms are very expensive. Surprisingly we can get mushrooms four times a year. In the end, the mushroom is effective for many diseases.
Avocado (Persea americana) is one of the most favorite fruit in the international market and due to its nutritious profile, it is considered a super-food. Well! In Pakistan, it is rare and usually imported by superstores and sells at a really high price among a very limited number of customers. The non-grated plant may bear fruit after 5 years, 10 years, and 13 years or not at all with a high plant mortality rate. Grafted plants bear fruit usually after 3-5 years of their plantation. In Pakistan, Hass and Lula grafted varieties are available other than non-grafted plants. Hass is the famous variety of avocados and covers almost 90% of total avocado produce followed by Fuerte in the international market.
The Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), the Punjab government’s agriculture research arm, and Pak Greenland Corporation, an overseas body that focuses on investment in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region, will launch separate cultivation projects to produce blueberries and blackberries in Punjab and GB respectively, with eyes on Middle East exports.
Pakistan’s soil is rich in the production of blueberry varieties and most heat-tolerant blackberries, though the country has not fully utilized its potential.
Now, BARI is working to launch berry cultivation projects in Punjab at a cost of Rs200 million and the Pak Greenland Corporation in GB for Rs157 million.
Pakistan can earn more than 25 to 30 billion dollars per year only from the cultivation of these 10 shortlisted crops. This will lead to an agricultural revolution in Pakistan. So government officials should take important decisions in this regard.