Status of Wheat Seed Sector in Pakistan: Opportunities and Challenges to Improve Quality Seed Supply for Increased Production and Food Security

Akhlaq Hussain, Akhter Ali, Muhammad Imtiaz


Wheat accounts for 60% of the daily diet and 72% of the daily calorie intake in Pakistan. The average per hectare wheat yield in Pakistan is only 2.8 tons, which is far below potential yield of 6.8 tons/ha for wheat in Pakistan. In this study, we use time-series data from the previous 1.5 decades to analyze wheat seed supplies in four major wheat-growing provinces: Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. The regression analysis indicates that the use of certified seed has a positive and significant impact on wheat production which is a key pillar of ensuring food security at the national level. Province-wise there exist some variation as results show that certified seed is available from public and private sources in Punjab to meet nearly a quarter of the province’s requirements and also supply a significant portion of Sindh’s wheat seed needs. However, available certified seed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces constitutes only 10% or less of the wheat seed sown. Throughout Pakistan, early-generation improved wheat seed comes mostly from public sector institutions; the private sector is involved primarily in the sale of improved seed and does not take part in wheat research or development programs. Farmers’ access to improved wheat seed can be enhanced through sustainable public-private partnerships, swift availability of pre-basic seed to well established private seed companies and introduction of legally-binding arrangements between public and private entities. This would not only help increase the wheat production but also bring improvement in the food security of rural households and country’s economic growth.

Keywords: Wheat seed, Production, Public-private Partnership, Food security, Pakistan.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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