Pakistan: Protectionist Trade Policy Toward Corn
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Corn is a significant crop in Pakistan. Poultry sector used about 60% of the total production of Corn, and 25% of the total production is used by wet milling and other businesses. The leftover crop is used as food and fodder for humans and animals. For silage purpose, about 45 Corn crop is used. Demand for Corn crop is increasing every year for making silage. The main products of wet milling are industrial starches, liquid glucose, and dextrose. There are approximately 180 feed mills producing poultry feed with a 10 MMT output capacity.
About two-thirds of the national output is produced during the Kharif season. Corn is the only cereal crop that grows among other staple cereal crops in both Kharif and rabbi seasons. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) was the source of half of the national Corn output till the mid-eighties.
Now, Punjab (76%) and KPK (21%) are the two significant provinces for Corn production in Pakistan. Both regions contribute almost 97% to the total production of the Corn crop in the country. Only 2 to 3% Corn grains are produced in Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. Corn crop also gains importance in Azad Kashmir, having 0.12 million hectares area under the Corn production.
The yield of Corn since the 2000s has multiplied over three times. Punjab’s rabbi Corn crop achieved an average yield of up to 8 tons per hectare, while KPK’s Kharif crop is under 2 tons per hectare. The Corn crop in Pakistan faces a spiral in price in coming years as the price of poultry increases across the country has shown.
Contract farming in the Corn crop is also famous in the areas like Pakistan, which lacks the efficiency of the marketing system. The contract farming is famous among Corn growers in Pakistan. There is no significant difference in productivity and income between contract and non-contract farming. The only difference is that by contract, the companies offer transportation facilities and provide inputs.
In Sahiwal, the Corn and millet research institute came up with four new open-pollinated varieties for small-scale farmers in the Corn-growing regions of Pakistan. The Agricultural Research Institute in Baluchistan has released six new Corn varieties which are more yielding and resistant to drought. All these new varieties are more useful in increasing the yield and enhancing food security. Corn is a highly nutritious crop. Corn contains the starch 72%, which is highly used in the industries. It contains protein 10%, oil 4 to 5%, fiber 5.8%, sugar 3%, vitamins A and B 3 to 5%, and ash 1.7%.
Pakistan’s Corn output in 2022/2023 (July/June) is forecast at 8.9 MMT, while the MY 2021/22 production estimate was 8.3 MMT, according to official data. The use of imported U.S. seed Corn continues to drive higher yields to meet demand from the poultry and livestock sectors. The area is growing due to Corn’s profitability vis-à-vis competing crops, mainly cotton. During the last five years, Corn production increased from 6 to 8.3 MMT.
Pakistan Government’s Involvement in Corn Sector
Driven by growing demand for Corn in feed rations from the poultry and expanding dairy sector, Corn consumption in 2022/23 is forecast to reach 7 MMT. The minimal imports are all seed Corn, and exports are insignificant. There is a 30 percent regulatory duty and 10 percent customs duty on imported Corn, shielding domestic producers from imports.
Except for the protectionist trade policy, there is very little Government involvement in the Corn sector. Bioengineered Corn is not approved for cultivation. Private sector activity drives growth in the industry. This activity includes firm demand from the entirely private sector-led poultry and expanding dairy sector and seed Corn companies offering productive hybrid seed Corn and extension services.
Other sources: https://technologytimes.pk/
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