Major Leap in Potato Production Propels Pakistan into Global Top Ten

Pakistan has recently marked a significant achievement in its agricultural sector by becoming one of the top ten global potato producers. This accomplishment is largely due to an increase in potato production to over eight million tonnes.

The country’s potato production has seen a substantial increase of more than 35% in the last three years, from 5.87 million tonnes in 2020-21 to an estimated 8.01 million tonnes in 2022-23. This surge in production is attributed to the expansion of areas under cultivation and the adoption of improved farming practices.

As the current potato harvest season draws to a close, it is projected that the country is on track to reap another bumper crop of over eight million tonnes. This remarkable output has positioned Pakistan among the world’s leading potato producers.

In 2022, China led the world in potato production by harvesting 95.6 million tonnes, followed by India with 56.1 million tonnes, and Ukraine with 20.9 million tonnes. Pakistan secured the ninth position with a production of 7.79 million tonnes.

According to official data, in the 2022-23 season, potatoes were cultivated on an area of almost 0.330 million hectares, yielding a total production of 7.94 million tonnes. This level of production represents an increase of 1.9% over the previous year and 31.8% over the target.

Potato has emerged as one of the high-yielding cash food crops in Pakistan, following wheat, rice, and maize. Over the past decade, it has gained economic importance in the country, and there has been a rapid increase in the area under cultivation. In the 2018-19 season, the area under potato cultivation was 196,200 hectares, yielding a total production of 4.57 million tonnes.

Three crops of potatoes are grown in the country, with an average yield of 23 tonnes per hectare. This yield is relatively low compared to global standards. However, progressive farmers within the country have managed to achieve double the average yield. This indicates that a significant increase in per hectare yield is possible if the concerned department focuses on the untapped potential of harvesting a good crop from the same area under cultivation.

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