Archive for August, 2009

Farmers demand fixation of minimum paddy price

Post Source: The News – By Aftab Maken

Saturday, August 29, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Paddy growers have asked the federal government to fix minimum guaranteed price of the commodity like that of wheat to make the crop more profitable for farmers.

Three main varieties of paddy including super basmati, basmati and Irri-6 are cultivated in Punjab, interior Sindh and Balochistan and the government sets intervention price of the commodity before harvest to protect the farmers.

Like last year, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has tabled a summary before the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, recommending an intervention price of Rs1,250 per 40kg for super basmati, Rs1,000 for basmati 385 and Rs600 for Irri for 2009-10 crop keeping in view all factors.

“The federal government, instead of announcing an intervention price, shall fix support price of paddy to safeguard the interests of growers and consumers as rice is the second largest export earner,” a director of the Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) said.

If the government did not take up this burning issue, the FAP director warned the country would not only lose foreign exchange but would also have to depend on import of the staple food.

“The best option is to increase paddy price by 10 per cent and double PASSCO & TCP’s procurement targets from last year so that rice farmers could get a better bargain,” the Basmati Growers Association (BGA) said in a letter to secretary Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

In light of increased cost of production, the Association asked the food ministry to recommend a 10 per cent increase in the indicative price of paddy for 2009-10.

“While there is no check on under-invoicing, export parity prices do not clearly portray actual prices and are therefore of no relevance. Farmers suggest that policy announcements of the neighbouring country be taken as a reference for assistance in formulation of a farmer-friendly policy,” the letter said.

Prices of paddy have risen by 5 per cent this year which if calculated with current rupee-dollar parity comes to Rs700 per 40kg for Irri-6.

The Association said a definite policy on intervention through the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supplies Corporation (PASSCO) and the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) should also be announced along with increase in prices of paddy.

Agriculture, Farming & Raw Materials – Pakistan Agribusiness Report Q4 2009

Post Source: companiesandmarkets.com

Summary Report

Pakistan Agribusiness Report Q4 2009 (Business Monitor International)

  • Market: Agriculture, Farming & Raw Materials
  • Published Date: 11/08/2009
  • Report Title: Pakistan Agribusiness Report Q4 2009
  • Table of Contents: View Table of Contents

Executive Summary …………………….5
SWOT Analysis……………………………7
Pakistan Agricultural SWOT ………………………. 7
Industry Business Environment Overview……………………..8
Supply Demand Analysis ……………11
Pakistan Livestock Outlook……………………………. 11
Table: Pakistan Poultry Production & Consumption…………… 12
Table: Pakistan Beef & Veal Production & Consumption ………..12
Table: Pakistan Poultry Production & Consumption…………….. 14
Table: Pakistan Beef & Veal Production & Consumption …… 14
Pakistan Dairy Outlook ………………………………… 16
Table: Pakistan Milk Production & Consumption …………. 16
Table: Pakistan Butter Production & Consumption ………. 17
Table: Pakistan Milk Production & Consumption …………19

 Table: Pakistan Butter Production & Consumption ……… 19
Pakistan Rice Outlook….. 21
Table: Pakistan Rice Production, Consumption & Trade…….22
Table: Pakistan Rice Production, Consumption & Trade……. 23
Pakistan Sugar Outlook ………………………………… 24
Pakistan Sugar Outlook ………………………………… 24
Table: Pakistan Sugar Production, Consumption & Trade……. 25
Table: Pakistan Sugar Production, Consumption & Trade……. 26
Pakistan Grain Outlook ………………………………… 27
Table: Pakistan Wheat Production, Consumption & Trade……. 28
Table: Pakistan Corn Production, Consumption & Trade………. 28
Table: Pakistan Barley Production, Consumption & Trade …… 28
Table: Pakistan Sorghum Production, Consumption & Trade…. 29
Table: Pakistan Wheat Production, Consumption & Trade……. 31
Table: Pakistan Corn Production, Consumption & Trade…….. 31
Table: Pakistan Barley Production, Consumption & Trade ……. 31
Table: Pakistan Sorghum Production, Consumption & Trade…………. 31
Competitive Landscape……………..33
Table: Agricultural Commodity Producers & Traders …….. 33
Table: Agribusiness Suppliers …………………… 34
Table: Integrated Agricultural Producers……. 35
Commodity Price Analysis…………36
Corn……………………… 36
Table: Corn …………… 36
Rice………………………. 37
Table: Rice…………….. 37
Soy ……………………………. 38
Table: Soybean ………. 38
Wheat………………………… 39
Table: Wheat………….. 39
Softs Update ……………………………..40
Cocoa……………………. 40
Table: Cocoa …………. 40
Coffee………………………… 41
Table: Coffee …………. 41
Milk…………………………… 42
Table: Milk ……………. 42
Sugar ………………………… 43
Table: Sugar ………….. 43
Downstream Supply Chain Analysis…………………………….44
Industry Forecast Scenario – Food …………………. 44
Table: Pakistan Food Consumption Indicators – Historical Data & Forecasts ……………………. 45
Canned Food …………. 45
Table: Pakistan Food Categories — Value/Volume Sales – Historical Data & Forecasts………. 46
Trade ……………………. 46
Table: Pakistan Food & Drink Trade Indicators – Historical Data & Forecasts… 47
Table: Pakistan MGR Value Sales By Format — Historical Data & Forecasts… 48
Table: Grocery Retail Sales By Format — Historical Data & Forecasts…… 48
Macroeconomic Forecast ……………………………… 49
Table: Pakistan – Economic Activity…………… 51
Special Focus ……………………………52
Industry Trend Analysis – Pakistan’s Mangoes Ripe For Export…………… 52
Industry Trend Analysis – Pakistan Increases Farm Acreage Available
For Foreign Investment … 53
BMI Forecast Modelling……………..55
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts ………. 55  

 

Pakistan has been attracting interest in its large but underdeveloped agricultural sector from across the globe in recent months. This comes as part of the increasing trend of rich food deficit countries investing in agriculture in poorer countries with more plentiful land resources.

In June, news agency Reuters reported that the government of Pakistan had offered 404,700 hectares (ha) of farmland for sale or lease to foreign investors. It is the usual suspects of the Gulf states and South Korea who are the likely targets of the government’s drive for investment. Oil rich, food poor states from the Middle East and food deficit prone South Korea have been spurred by the high food prices of 2007 and 2008 to increase their food security by investing in agricultural land abroad.

In July, the Pakistani minister for investment said that the country would be happy to provide land for Korean companies to build food and dairy processing facilities. Also in July, the chief minister of the Punjab said that there was a large amount of interest in investing in the province’s agriculture from Qatar.

A month earlier, in June 2009, Tetra Pak announced the signing of an memorandum of understanding with local company Engro Foods to create a dairy hub in the Sahiwal district of the Punjab. The hub will serve 15 villages in the district and aims to promote more efficient production and bring smallholders into the formal dairy market chain.

Foreign investment has a vital role to play in improving productivity in Pakistan’s agricultural sector.

Investment in training farmers to improve their production methods will be beneficial for both the producers themselves and the companies seeking to buy their products. Investments such as the one by Tetra Pak are to be welcomed wholeheartedly.

The sale or lease of land to foreign companies is a more complex issue. While no firm deals have been announced as yet, the government’s apparent willingness to sell large swathes of land could be a source of friction with local farmers if they feel they are not benefiting from increased production. Land and agriculture are emotive issues, particularly in such a rural country as Pakistan.

This is not to say that any deal to lease land to foreign investors would always produce negative results, but the government needs to be sure that those who will be impacted by any deals are fully consulted and not just focus on the valuable source of foreign currency being offered. Such deals have already fallen apart in other parts of the world owing to local resistance, most notably Madagascar where a plan to lease a huge tract of agricultural land to a Korean company likely contributed to the downfall of the president in March.

Gondal emphasizes need of early launching of Bt cotton-seed

Post Source: Daily Mail News

By Tariq Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD—Federal Food and Agriculture Minister Mr.Nazar Muhammad Gondal emphasized the need of early launching of Bt cotton-seed but after taking all precautionary measures and field tests. The Minister was chairing 4th meeting of steering committee for development of Bt cotton in collaboration with Monsanto.
The Minister was told that the MoU with Monsanto is in law division for wetting. The Minister asked to speed up the issue with law ministry. The meeting was told that this year we are expecting cotton cultivated on area of 78 lac acres, which is 8 lac acres more than previous year. The meeting told that hopefully after finalization of MoU with Monsanto in next year we will get 20% of our cotton cultivated area under Bt cotton seed. The Minister asked the scientists to take in depth research on cotton leave virus, which is damaging cotton crop on large area. The Minister said that our textile industry is backbone of our economy and introduction of modern seed technology in cotton will give a boast not only to farmers but to industry as well.
The Minister said that government accords high priority to Agriculture and striving hard to turn this sector into competitive and profitable. The Minister said that we cannot eradicate poverty without strengthening rural economy and the present regime is committed to this cause. The Minister said that we will not allow anyone to exploit farmers and will only adopt technology conducive to our own environment. The Minister said that whenever PPP came into power it worked for the poor farmers and downtrodden Sections of society. Textile Minister Rana Farooq Ahmed also present in the meeting.
While expressing his views regarding cotton, he said that it is the great honor for us because Pakistan is fourth largest producer and 3rd largest user of cotton.
He told the delegation that due to energy crisis and other problems like quota system, textile sector has been effected adversely. However, he said, the government of PPP was giving extra ordinary concentration on boosting the textile sector.
The government is taking immediate measures to overcome energy crisis which is effecting every sector of our economy, he added. The farmers apprised that Minister about different problems faced by them. Rana Farooq assured them that agriculture is top priority of the government. The government will provide all possible facilities to the farmers, he added.

Boosting cotton production: Development of hybrid seeds, R&D needed

Post Source: DailyTimes By Razi Syed (August 27, 2009)

KARACHI: The concern ministry and department should consider obtaining foreign assistance for the development of hybrid seeds and facilities of Research and Development (R&D) in cotton sector, Dr Neil Forrester, the Australian expert on synthetic insecticides, BT cotton and former director Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) Australia said Wednesday.

Talking to the members Board of Director of Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) at Karachi Cotton Exchange (KCE), he said during visit vast fields in Punjab, a vast cotton field in Multan division has been affected with mealy bug.

Due to use of fake seeds and use of pesticides and germicides the farmer is suffering, he added.

He said poor water-management besides absence of R&D facilities and non-coordination between government and real stakeholders of the sector has been affecting the lint production of the country.

He stressed for adopting modern agricultural practices to improve and upgrade the cropping standards in Pakistan.

He urged the need for improving diversity of cultivars, eco-friendly and cost-effective pest management practices, efficient supply system, commercialisation of variegated and alternative usage of crop produce. “Government will not be able to meet its lint target unless it provides copyrights to the foreign seed and hybrid companies in order to save crops from spurious seeds”, Dr Neil said. Punjab produces more than 70 percent of the total yield of Pakistan and around 90 percent of the total cultivation is BT cotton in Sindh while 50 percent is in Punjab. Multan division is the largest traditional cotton production area in the world, which produces approximately 700,000 bales during a crop season.

Chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), Rana Abdul Sattar said quality and the volume of the crop, especially the BT variety of cotton would not improve because until use of uncertified seeds prevails.

Pakistan will not able to achieve next cotton crop target in (2009-10) which is 12 million bales unless production of quality seeds, supply of quality inputs and water availability is not assured, he maintained.

A senior member KCA, Ghulam Rabbani said there was need of experts from multinational companies in the field in order to help and guide growers to produce quality seeds.

He said only two seed institutes, one in Sindh and the other in Punjab, cannot produce and cater to the supply of quality seed to the growers.

Due to lack of competency, the farmers would face financial crunch while country would likely import around 3 million bales in next crop season to meet the textile sector’s requirements.

The federal government revised the target to 12 million bales from 13.2 million cotton bales for the crop season 2009-10.

Govt to import 0.3 million tonnes urea for wheat crop

Post Source: DailyTimes By Ijaz Kakakhel (August 26, 2009)

ISLAMABAD: The government hinted urea fertilizer shortfall of about 0.2 million tonnes for the coming Rabi season 2009-10, in which wheat would be the main crop of the season, officials told Daily Times here on Tuesday.

The urea shortfall was identified during Fertilizer Review Committee (FRC) meeting held on Monday. During the meeting it was observed that the availability of urea fertilizer remained satisfactory during Kharif 2009 and the opening balance of urea for Rabi 2009-10 would be around 531,000 tonnes. It was also noted that the requirement of Urea during Rabi 2009 was estimated to be three million tonnes, whereas, the total availability would be closed to 2.8 million tonnes. Hence there is a need to import 0.2 to 0.3 million tonnes of urea fertilizer, which should be made available by October 2009, the official maintained.

In the meeting, the availability position of DAP also came under discussion and it transpired that the DAP would be sufficiently available during Kharif and Rabi 2009-10, with a closing balance of 188,000 tonnes by the end of August 2009. However, before the start of Rabi 2009-10 the situation would be reviewed.

The usage of potash was also analysed. The participants informed the meeting that the stocks of potash were at zero level and the price of potash in the international market was steadily reducing. The present cost of potash was at $575 per tonne. The landed cost comes to around Rs 2800 per bag.

The meeting was informed that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was in the process of submitting a summary to Economic Coordination Committee for grant of subsidy on potash. The officials said that the availability position of phosphatic fertilizers would be reviewed before the start of Rabi 2009-10.
Wheat was main crop of the Rabi Season, the production of which was recorded about 24.5 million tonnes in 2008-09, while the production remained 20.95 million tonnes in 2007-08. The higher production of wheat was recorded due to attractive wheat support price of Rs 950 per 40 kg, timely announced before the sowing of crop.

Last year the farmers were running from pillar to post to get urea (fertilizer), the most important nitrate for the wheat crop, prescribed by the agriculturists as a must for the wheat plant. The agriculturists say that non-availability of the fertilizer would cut down about 20 to 30 percent wheat production.

In absence of proper urea fertilizer, experts said that wheat production could reduce by about 30 percent per acre, as the wheat plant needs proper nutrition, which was only possible through fertilizer input.

The government has fixed Rs 635 per bag as the price of the urea fertilizer but unfortunately the product was hoarded and was not easily available in the market across the country.

In order to avoid such type of situation in the coming Rabi season 2009-10, the FRC meeting informed the government to arrange the import of urea fertilizer so that the wheat growers can sow the commodity with confidence.

Post Source: Daily Waqt – Lahore

Daily Waqt Urdu Newspaper (August 26, 2009)

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Cotton target to be missed for fifth consecutive year

Post Source: DailyTimes By Razi Syed (August 26, 2009)

KARACHI: The government has revised the cotton target to 12 million bales from 13.2 million bales for the Kharif 2009-10 after the virus attack on the crop in Punjab and Sindh.

“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFA) after consultation with the progressive farming community has revised the target to around 12.0 million bales,” secretary MINFA, Ziaur Rehman said.

He said the production would remain below 13.2 million bales target set for Kharif 2009-10 season.

However he hoped the country would achieve around 12 million bales and said, “every effort is being taken to control the virus attack in some parts of cotton growing areas in Punjab and Sindh.”

Talking to Daily Times a senior member of Karachi Cotton Association, Ghulam Rabbani said there is dire need in Pakistan of protecting the interest of lint growers as country witnessed five consecutive years of declining production.

He said from 2004-05 till last cotton production in 2008-09, the projected targets for cotton yields were not being met due to continuing crop losses and poor government policies. He said bollworm and Curl Leaf Cotton Virus (CLCV) played havoc with crops in many areas of the country.

“The use of counterfeit pesticides and supply of poor quality seed to farmers in the name of BT cotton variety has already destroyed our cotton production,” Rabbani added.

The cotton crop, cultivated on targeted areas of 3.2 million hectares, was confronting the CLCV and it had spread across the cotton belt in Punjab and Sindh. The CLCV disease was a continuing threat to cotton production since 1990.

The approval process of BT cotton has taken long, growers have started importing poor quality and smuggled BT seed. This led to use of smuggled seed in Punjab by almost 60 percent growers. The pirated varieties are not developed for Pakistan’s agronomic conditions and do not perform well, especially against mealy bugs and CLCV.

Chairman PCGA, Rana Abdul Sattar said it remained below the government’s target of 13.2 million bales on counts of non-supply of better quality seeds, short supply of quality inputs and farmer’s interest to switch over to other crops.

He said the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee keeping in view the situation had revised target to the level of 12.0 million bales, but production even could not touch the revised target.

According to PCGA, the country achieved 11.7 million bales of cotton during 2007-08 production year, which was lower than 2.4 million bales of the initial target.

He said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council should discuss contents of the accord recently signed with a two member Chinese follow up mission headed by Qiquan Zhang, Director General, Agri Division, Xinjiang Production and Corporation for implementing technology in Punjab and Sindh for growing BT cotton.

The scientist should start trial production to assess the BT genes behavior in Pakistan’s soil conditions and climate.

Monsanto is the world industry leader in GM cottonseeds and this technology has given sound results in areas as diverse as India, Brazil, China and Australia.

According to a government survey, in districts Burewala, Khanewal, Leyah, Vehari and adjoining crop areas the hot spots in cotton crops were found ranging 90 to 95 percent.

In Lodhran, Rajanpur, Muzafargarh and Pak Patten, around 90 percent crop has been affected with virus.

While in D G Khan, Khanewal and Bahawalpur about 70 percent hot spots were found in cotton crops.

Around 40 to 55 percent crop in Faisalabad, Rahimyar Khan, Mianwali, Okara, and Bahawarnagar was infected.