Maize Production in Pakistan

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					Maize being the highest yielding cereal crop in the world, is of significant importance for
countries like Pakistan, where rapidly increasing population has already out stripped the
available food supplies. In Pakistan maize is third important cereal after wheat and rice.
Maize accounts for 4.8% of the total cropped area and 3.5% of the value of agricultural
output. It is planted on an estimated area of 0.9 million hectare with an annual
production of 1.3 million tones. The bulk (97%) of the total production come from two
major provinces, NWFP, accounting for 57% of the total area and 68% of total
production. Punjab contribute 38% acreage with 30% of total maize grain production.
Very little maize 2-3% is produced in the province of Sindh and Balochistan. Though not
included in Pakistan official statistics maize is an important crop of AJK with about 0.122
million hectare of maize being planted during kharif. Similarly a very growing and high
yielding sector of maize, the spring maize area and production in Punjab is not
accounted for , which covers around 0.070 million ha with about 050 million tonnes of
maize grain being produced.

 Area, production and yield of maize in Pakistan.
 (000 ha)        (000 tonnes)            (kg/ha)

1992-93            868               1184                 1364

1993-94            879               1213                 1380

1994-95            889               1288                 1449

1995-96            880               1238                 1457

1996-97           871        1260            1446
Source: Pakistan Statistics.

Major Shift in Seasons/Patterns

Since the introduction (1975) of spring maize cultivation in Pakistan there has been
gradual increase/shift in planting maize during spring season in the irrigated low land
areas of Punjab. The adoption/cultivation of spring maize has specially increased since
the active involvement of multinationals in Pakistan. To day the spring maize accounts
for 12-15% of the total area planted during kharif and almost 30-35% of the total annual
production. An annual increase of 20-25% in maize area during spring has been
observed which in mainly because of very good yield levels (6-7 tonnes/ha).

The contribution in yield comes from use of hybrid seed with better crop management

Year       Area (000/ha)               Production (000 ton)          Yield kg/ha
1994       35                          140                           4000

1995       41                          162                           3950

1996       50                          248                           4960

1997       71                          465                           6550

1998       73                          436                           5973

Expected Future Trends:

Keeping in view the increased trends in Sugarcane plantation on irrigated land and
promotion of oilseeds crop, the area under autumn maize crop will slightly be reduced
during autumn season. There has been 0.3-0.4 million hectares of maize area
potentially excellent for hybrid maize production. With the increased attention of private
seed sector towards autumn maize and growing interest in hybrid plantation by farmers
of irrigated plans, the overall production of maize is expected to increase, resulting
higher productivity per unit area.

The area under spring maize is expected to increase because of growing concerned
incidence of cotton leaf curl virus problem. In Punjab cotton is planted on about 2.0
million hectares more than 70% of the cotton is followed by wheat in traditional rotation.
With the introduction of cotton varieties having potential of giving cotton picking till
January, the wheat is confronting problems as late planting of wheat greatly effects the
yield. Early maturing hybrids now available can fit in the prevailing system. Hence two
major reasons for increasing maize area are:

i) The shift from cotton to spring maize because of disease problem.

ii) Extra 1-2 picking of cotton generating extra income compensating upto 30-35% of the
total wheat income. In addition maize as additional crop giving at least equal to wheat


During the past 20 years, maize research programs have been strengthened at the
provincial and federal level. The research infrastructure at the provincial maize
experiment stations has been improved thoroughly. Today, viable maize research
institute are in place in Yousafwala (Sahiwal). Pirsabak (Nowshera) and NARC
(Islamabad). In addition partial research activities are carried out when and where
needed i.e. AARI (Faisalalbad), AJK and Bhalwal (Sargodha). More then 70 research
scientists in public institutions are directly or indirectly engaged in maize research and a
similar number probably participates in disciplinary research related in maize

National Coordination:

The national coordinated maize research system since its establishment in 1975 has
played an important role in strengthening the research efforts, exchange of germplasm,
information, and manpower training of the provincial research system. With this
integration a purpose full use of financial and manpower resources have been achieved.

The National Coordinated Maize Programme coordinates PARC's financial support to
the provincial maize research program, including funds for additional staff position,
equipment, scientific literature etc. In addition NCMP also provide several services
(described below) to the participating members.

Germplasm Development:

National Coordinated Maize Programme organize, acquire and distribute the exotic and
local germplasm from different sources and agencies to the maize growers in the
country. This germplasm provide source of genetic material to be used for development
of varieties and hybrids Upto date NCMP has acquired about 9800 germplasm sources
and distributed to various research scientists in the country.

National uniform Maize Trials:

The trials are conducted at various location (25-30) throughout the country both in kharif
& spring NARC handles the preparation, distribution and data analysis of these trials
and provide opportunity to provincial scientists through travelling workshops to see and
observe their genetic material performing under adverse climatic conditions. The best
opportunity for scientist to discuss and familiarized themselves with problem and
farming system practices outside their domain. Potential of giving cotton picking till
January, the wheat is confronting problems as late planting of wheat greatly effects the
yield. Early maturing hybrids now available can fit in the prevailing system. Hence two
major reasons for increasing maize area during spring are:

i) The shift from cotton to spring maize because of disease problem.

ii) Extra 1-2 picking of cotton generating extra income compensating upto 30-35% of the
total wheat income. In addition maize as additional crop giving at least equal to wheat

Production Environment:

Approximately 65% of the maize in Pakistan has access to irrigation, the remainder is
farmed under strictly rained condition. Eighty four percent of the maize production
in Pakistan is concentrated in two principal geographic cluster: 11 districts in
NWFP/Northern Punjab and 9 districts in the central Punjab.

Maize in Pakistan is cultivated as a multipurpose food and forage crop, generally by
resource poor farmers using marginal land, few purchased inputs, with significant
portions of harvest distant for home/farm consumption.


Although the formal commercial maize seed production system in Pakistan produces
limited tonnage of certified seed, the nation public research service have attempted to
produced and diffuse the seed of improved varieties through various adhoc seed
multiplication campaigns. These campaigns have relied on planting of small
demonstration seed multiplication plots on farmers fields. They have been effective in
stimulating farmer to farmer distribution of improved seed to some extent.

Pakistan like many developing countries still depends largely on open pollinated
varieties based on public seed organizations. Currently both the public and private
sector are involved in promoting the seed production system. More recently the
individual seed producers and community production/distribution system is being
encouraged. These seed growers have been offered serial incentives i.e. door step
availability of inputs i.e. pre-basic seed, insecticide, plating machinery etc, the complete
disposal of seed with the help of extension agents and frequent consultation by
technical staff to solve the confronting and new emerging problems.

The present situation regarding maize seed production and marketing is as follows:

Total seed produced          3175 metric tonnes
Hybrid seed                 2050 "
QPV's Seed                  1125 "
QPV's Seed

MRI (Sahiwal)                 800 "
Punjab Seed Corporation        150 "
CCRI (Pirsabak)                50 "
ADA                          100 "
NARC                          15 "
Total                       1125 "

Hybrid Seed

Cargill Pakistan            850
Rafhan CPC                  400
Pioneer Seeds                450
ICI Pakistan                100
MMRI (Yousafwala)           100
CCRI                        70
Noradas                     80
Total                      2050

The seed produced by above mentioned agencies and individual seed growers is hardly
sufficient to cover 10-15% area under maize, while about 26-30% of the total area is
planted to improved seed of advanced generation. The remainder 50-60% is covered by
either local or sort of mixture of local within proved germplasm.


The research in Public sector is carried out at three main research institutes, over 95%
of the maize area is collectively

located in Punjab and NWFP, which primarily are lowland and mid to-highland ecologies
respectively. The work done at the maize and Millet Research Institute Yousafwala
(Sahiwal) satisfies the needs of the low land irrigated ecology while Cereal Crop
Research Institute, Pirsabak (Nowshera) fulfill the requirements of the mid and highland
environments to a great extent. The work carried out at National Agricultural Research
Centre, Islamabad mainly covers the research obligations for low-to-midland rained
ecologies of the country.

The research efforts so far are concentrated on different aspects of maize improvement
to increase the production level of the commodity in Pakistan. The following being the
main areas of research concentration:

i) Germplasm development/Populations Improvement:

 - White and yellow maize populations with Early, Medium and late maturity are being
improved for yield disease drought and density stresses.

- Development of germplasm extra early in maturity for high elevation area.

ii) Hybrid Development

 - Investigating heterotic patterns, derivation of inbred lines and testing new

iii) Cost-effective crop

- Evaluation/investigating costmanagement/protection: efficient and with high value cost
rattan methodologies/ levels of inputs and practices specially for subsistant maize
iv) On Farm Verification:

 - Evaluation/verification of technologies under farmer's condition partially conducted by
the farmer.

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