Pakistan Rapeseeds: Canada and Ukraine Face Off


Mar 29, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

After cotton, Rapeseed-mustard is the second most important source of oil in Pakistan. It is cultivated over 307,000 hectares with an annual production of 233,000 tons and contributes about 17% to the domestic production of edible oil. Rapeseed and mustard seed are rich sources of oil and protein. Whole seed meal has 43.6 percent protein. Rapeseed meal is an excellent feed for animals.

Rapeseed production in Pakistan did not perform very well during the 2000s. Despite a steep increase in the demand and, thus, rise in prices of edible oils in the country, Rapeseed productivity remains far lower than the world average. There has been a marginal improvement in per ha Rapeseed yield, but this improvement is far lower than the average world growth. Thus, Pakistan is not only losing its relative position in Rapeseed in the world market but also its competitiveness because of low yield and high production costs. As a result, there is a steep increase in the import of edible oil in general and Rapeseed grain for oil and oilcake for animal feed, costing the country over US$2 billion.

With a rapid increase in population and changing consumption patterns, the expenditure on edible oil is rapidly rising. Its per capita consumption of 11.5 Kg in Pakistan has reached one of the highest in the world. The total edible requirement in the country is estimated at 2.74 million tonnes1, but only 0.194 million tons are produced in the country, thus creating a gap to be filled through import. According to AgFlow data, Pakistan imported 0.15 million tons of Rapeseed from Australia in 2022, followed by Canada (132,000 tons), Ukraine (123,208 tons), and Romania (47,000 tons). 

Rapeseed belongs to brassica variety and is one of the most essential edible oilseed crops grown in all the diverse agro-climatic conditions of Pakistan ranging from north to south under irrigated/rain-fed and saline/good soils in single/mixed cropping system sown early or late. Mustard accounts for about 75–80% of the total brassica varieties grown in the country. Canola and Gobhi-sarson, considered good quality brassica, are other emerging oilseed crops. These are long-duration crops confined to irrigated areas of Punjab and Sindh. However, Rapeseed crops fit well in the rain-fed cropping system of resource-poor farmers because of their low water requirement (80–240 mm).

The oil content in the seeds of Rapeseed ranges from 38–46%. The seed and oil are used as a condiment to prepare pickles and flavoring curries and vegetables. The remains of oil extraction from Rapeseed, i.e., oilcake, are mainly used as cattle feed. The leaves of young plants are also used as green vegetables. The use of mustard oil for industrial purposes is limited due to its high cost.

Pakistan Rapeseeds: Canada and Ukraine Face Off

Rapeseed Contribution to Pakistan’s Economy

Rapeseed contributes about 13% of the total local edible oil production in the country, contributing Rs.13.6 billion to the national economy. It occupies approximately 3.25% of the total cropped area in the country (Economic Survey of Pakistan 2017-18). Punjab has 63.5% area and 61.6% oilseed production, followed by Sind. However, as a whole, Rapeseed remains a relatively minor crop in the cropping system in all provinces except in some specified zones. The highest contribution of Rapeseed is in Balochistan at 1.28% in the cropping system, followed by 0.79% in Punjab. The production of Rapeseed all over the world, including in Pakistan, is not just for oil but also for making oilcake (or animal feed). The Rapeseed seed produced at the farm level is usually supplied to local kohloos who extract oil and seedcake with a little surplus available to pass through the ideal processing and marketing system.  

Other sources: PC.GOV

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