On Wednesday the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its Punjab Food Outlook Report 2018 disclosed that Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of chickpeas in the world. It has also got the potential of exporting potatoes to the Middle East.
As per an official message by FAO, the report is the first one of its kind, it has been made in response to a request from the government of Punjab with the technical assistance given by FAO and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), abiding the lines of FAO’s Global Food Outlook.
While talking on the occasion, the FAO Representative in Pakistan—Mina Dowlatchahi said that the Punjab Food Outlook Report gives ontime and exact data that would enable the government, small farmers and extension workers for making informed and proof-based decisions by supervising the food supply, demand and other key indicators for analysing the complete food security situation. It would finally assist in reducing poverty and in improving the food security and nutrition in Pakistan.
She also said that the reports would also help in strengthening the national capacities for managing and usage of the food security linked information.
The province of Punjab produces eighty-four per cent of chickpeas or gram, ninety-five per cent potatoes and seventy-seven per cent of wheat, as per the Punjab Food Outlook Report 2018.
The report also gives details about the cultivated area, production and production levels for potato, wheat and gram throughout the various Argo ecological zones of Punjab.
The report further added that these crops use nearly eighty per cent of the harvested area during the Rabi cropping season.
As per the report, some of the major factors that have affected on the wheat cultivation during the last decade include the prices of the significant inputs like irrigation water availability, fertilizer and competition from other crops.
The report has been released in Lahore by the Punjab Minister for Agriculture—Malik Nauman Ahmed Langrial.
He termed the report as the new dawn of a new era for agriculture i n Punjab and applauded the efforts of the FAO and IFPRI in the making of the report for helping the agriculture sector enter a new era of proof-based decision making.