Importance of Seed:

If Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy then Seed is the back bone of Agriculture as Seed is the starting point and Seed is the end point of any crop. Seed holds within itself hope for future. As seed is sown it unfolds the immense bounties of nature. Good harvest is a gift of God and achievement of our hardworking and weather hardened, strong fanner who fights natural calamities and weathers events beyond his control. Good quality Seed gives first sign of good hope to the farmer. If high quality Seed is sown it can change the lives of farmers and therefore future of the country. Present day hi-tech seed is capable of increasing crop output many times, thus giving a sound return on investment, it can safe guard crops against pests and crop may need much less water and survive in drought conditions, it may also be sown in hitherto un heard of climates and geographical areas, it may give exotic colours and flavours, and also make storage easier and long lasting. Thus Seed is the real friend of farmer and hope for millions.

Role of Seed Sector

The private sector was allowed to enter seed business in 1979. In 1994 the Government declared seed business at par with the other industries. As a result of this policy a wave of investments was generated. In 1976 there were just a handful of seed companies in public sector and four seed processing plants were installed with an annual capacity of 103,000 tones for crops like wheat, rice, maize and cotton. By 2001 about 143 seed processing plants had been installed with an investment of Rs. 819 million to process 475,000 tones seed. By 2010 many fold increase in production capacity has taken place depicting the tremendous investment that privatesector is willing to bring into the seed sector.

Seed Companies in Pakistan (2013)

After 1994 a tremendous interest of private sector was created in this new business arena. Since then seed sector has come a long way and now there is a large body registered as seed companies. Following is the distribution of seed companies in Pakistan.

Punjab 618
Sindh 97
Balochistan 05
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 23
Gilgit Baltistan 03
Multinationals 05
Public Sector 04
Total 755

Varieties Released Upto 2008

Crop Public Private Total
Wheat 102 0 102
Cotton 77 1 78
Rice 34 0 34
Vegetables 37 0 37
Fruit 23 0 23
Barley 12 0 12
Maize/ Millet 26 2 28
Fodder/ Forages 16 1 17
Pulses 58 0 58
Oil Seeds 46 4 50
Sugarcane 32 1 33
Potato 12 0 12
Total 475 9 484

Seed Produced and Supplied

Ever since private sector was allowed into seed business a tremendous boost was provided to supply of certified and tested seed availability for growers. In 1997-98 117,349 tones seed was supplied which met 10% of seed demand nationwide and this increased to 262,747 tons by 2007-08 covering 16% of seed demand. Annexure 1 depicts this upsurge in seed supply.

ANNEXURE I

Seed Produced and Supplied in 1997-98 and 2007-08

Crop Supplied in 1997-98 (t) Demand met (%) Supplied in 2007-08 (t) Demand met (%)
Wheat 78,544 10.63 177,792 17
Rice 1,734 2.88 13,868 34
Maize 1,674 4.78 9,785 32
Chickpea 192 0.44 107 0.25
Pulses 117 2.41 1,524 24
Sunflower 571 57.10 1,206 39
Canola 511 43.98 97 13
Rape & mustard nr nr 224 17
Ground nut nr nr 6 0
Vegetables 3,181 63.62 6,176 115
Potato 6,824 3.45 8,348 2
Fodders 873 6.02 11,923 16
Cotton 23,128 34.52 31,691 48
Total 117,349 10.05 262,747 16

Distribution of Improved Seeds

In the last about one decade distribution of improved seed of various crops has seen a step rise due to efforts of the private sector. Annexure 2 shows the distribution of improved seed from 1998-2007.

ANNEXURE II

Distribution of Improved Seed

Crop 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Wheat 104.21 106.37 159.22 143.25 129.41 135.51 171.2 168.12 163.46
Paddy 2.28 3.81 2.27 4.86 4.49 7.55 9.42 12.52 11.9
Maize 0.51 2.84 2.4 2.96 4.5 5.18 5.95 9.06 9.25
Cotton 27.02 33.4 29.46 39.87 31.12 28.39 28.9 34.17 31.79
Gram 0.35 0.19 0.25 0.31 1.51 1.34 0.57 0.41 0.38
Oil Seeds 0.11 0.15 0.2 0.32 0.99 0.8 1.78 1.79 1.82
Total 134.48 146.76 193.8 191.57 172.02 178.77 217.82 226.07 218.6

Seed Imports

Private sector has been involved in bringing improved seed from foreign sources to boost yield potential of crops specially Maize, Potato, Rice, Sorghum and Vegetables. Annexure 3 shows that Rs. 4.872 billion were spent on imports of seed during 2008-09 and therefore private sector needs to be encouraged to invest into import substitution to save the outflow of dollars.

ANNEXURE III

Seed Imports 2008-09

Crop/ Seed Quantity Imported (mt) Value (Rs. Million)
Maize (Hybrid) 10,260 2,359.56
Millets 1,831 229.40
Sorghum (Hybrids/ OPVs) 6,590 348.44
Rice (Hybrid) 933 180.42
Berseem 220 15.48
Alfalfa 580 92.84
Sunflower (Hybrid) 1,533 561.52
Canola (Hybrid) 30 12.54
Potato nr 308.48
Vegetables 2,674 763.53
Others 013 0.22
Total 29,802 4,872.43

Size of Pakistan’s Seed Market

Annexure 4 shows that there exists a tremendous potential for growth in the seed market as there is an estimated potential market of more than 752,000 tones whereas only about 263,000 tones are currently being supplied which is 35% of potential demand.

ANNEXURE IV

Pakistan Seed Market Size

Crop Area Planted (Acres) Volume(M. Tons) Value(US Dollar)
Cereal Crops 31,044,295 258,712 330,687,290
Oil Seeds 1,870,383 8,009 21,593,118
Pulses 4,547,270 72,845 70,994,737
Fodder Crops 3,853,200 96,590 51,332,894
Pasture Grasses 2,568,800 19,110 25,409,868
Vegetables 1,210,300 9,198 110,643,717
Spices 14,820 120 505,263
Industrial (Cotton) 7,410,000 45,000 26,644,737
Tubers 296,400 242,800 161,052,632
Total 52,815,468 752,384 798,864,256

Revenue Collection

Corporate companies involved in Seed business are levied with 35% income tax whereas for non corporate entities there are specific slabs to charge income tax. Seed business is exempted from sales tax.

Size of Pakistan’s Seed Market

Annexure 4 shows that there exists a tremendous potential for growth in the seed market as there is an estimated potential market of more than 752,000 tones whereas only about 263,000 tones are currently being supplied which is 35% of potential demand.