The government of Pakistan also provides various subsidies and incentives to farmers to promote potato cultivation and increase production.

Potato is one of the most important cash crops grown in Pakistan. It is widely cultivated in various regions of the country due to its high economic value and demand in the domestic as well as international markets. Potato cultivation has proven to be a profitable business for farmers in Pakistan and its demand continues to grow due to its versatility in food preparations.

The government of Pakistan also provides various subsidies and incentives to farmers to promote potato cultivation and increase production.

In 2021, Pakistan exported fresh or chilled potatoes worth a total of $112 million. Sales from Pakistan increased by 60% in comparison to 2020: fresh or chilled potato exports increased by $ 42 million (total exports from Pakistan in 2020 were $69 million).

Table: Show the value of potato’s export from Pakistan in 2021.

CountryShare (%)Worth
Afghanistan2629 million US$
Sri Lanka17.219.4 million US$
United Arab Emirates16.518.6 million US$
Russia13.615.3 million US$
Qatar9.4310.6 million US$
Malaysia5.956.69 million US$
Oman4.725.31 million US$
Bahrain1.882.12 million US$
Kazakhstan1.341.51 million US$

In 2021, Pakistan imported fresh or chilled potatoes for a total of $12.8 million. Pakistan’s value dropped 33% from 2020 to 2019. Fresh or chilled potato imports fell by $6.39 million.

The potato crop requires cool weather and well-drained soil for optimal growth. The best time for planting potatoes in Pakistan is from late October to mid-November.

The land should be prepared by plowing and leveling the field, followed by the addition of organic matter like manure or compost. The seed potatoes should be cut into small pieces, each with an eye or a bud, and then planted at a depth of 8-10 cm and a spacing of 30-35 cm.

After planting, the crop should be irrigated regularly and kept free from weeds. The potato crop is susceptible to pests and diseases like blight, aphids, and potato tuber moth. Therefore, regular monitoring and application of appropriate pesticides and fungicides are necessary to prevent damage and ensure a healthy harvest.

The potato crop takes around three to four months to mature, and the tubers are ready for harvesting when the plants start to yellow and die back. The tubers should be carefully dug up to avoid damage and stored in a cool and dry place to prevent spoilage. The harvested potatoes can then be sold to the market or used for personal consumption.

Potatoes are a nutritious food that can provide a range of essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health and wellbeing. Potatoes contain a variety of vitamins, including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B1: Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that supports immune function, skin health, and wound healing.

Potatoes contain vitamin B6, which is important for brain development and function, as well as the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Although not a vitamin, potassium is an important mineral found in potatoes.

It helps to regulate blood pressure and supports healthy heart function. Potatoes also contain vitamin B3, which is important for energy production and the maintenance of healthy skin. Another B vitamin found in potatoes is vitamin B1, which is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and the production of energy.

Cultivation of potato in Pakistan faces several challenges, including Water scarcity, Pests and diseases, Soil fertility, Lack of quality seed and Price fluctuations.

Potato requires an adequate supply of water for its growth and development. In Pakistan, water scarcity is a major problem, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions. The potato crop is vulnerable to several pests and diseases, such as late blight, early blight, blackleg, and potato tuber moth. These pests and diseases can cause significant damage to the crop.

Soil fertility Potatoes require well-drained and fertile soil for their growth. In Pakistan, the soil fertility is declining due to the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Lack of the availability of quality seed is crucial for the successful cultivation of potatoes.

However, in Pakistan, there is a shortage of quality seed, which affects the yield and quality of the crop.  The price of potatoes in Pakistan is highly volatile, which creates uncertainty for farmers. The farmers may face losses if the price drops significantly, and they may not receive a fair price for their produce.

To overcome these challenges, farmers need to adopt better management practices, such as using high-quality seed, adopting integrated pest management, improving soil fertility through the use of organic fertilizers, and adopting efficient irrigation techniques.

The government can also provide support to farmers by providing access to credit, improving market linkages, and investing in research and development to improve potato cultivation in Pakistan.

In conclusion, potato cultivation is a lucrative business for farmers in Pakistan, and it has a significant role in the country’s agricultural sector. With proper planning, management, and implementation of good agricultural practices, potato cultivation can be a profitable and sustainable venture for farmers in Pakistan.