Although it has declined in recent years as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the agricultural sector sustains the livelihoods of 45 percent of Pakistan’s population (FAO 2012). In particular, wheat production is a mainstay of the country’s food security, with 24 million tonnes of wheat produced in 2010. Rice production has also doubled since 1980 and is now one of the country’s major export crops.

Despite the growth in production of staple crops, Pakistan has experienced a sharp decline in food security in recent years due to a combination of militant activity, natural disaster, and economic instability. In 2010, the country experienced its worst natural disaster in decades when flooding submerged almost one-fifth of the country’s landmass. The floods destroyed infrastructure, left almost 20 million people without access to food, clean water, and health services, and severely damaged the country’s agricultural sector (WFP 2012). The food insecure population rose from 38 percent of the total population to 50 percent (83 million people) between 2003 and 2009; it is estimated that this number has risen further to 90 million people in the aftermath of the 2010 floods (WFP 2012). Militant activities have also had severe financial impact on the country, contributing to widespread unemployment and a skyrocketing inflation rate that reached 16 percent by the end of 2010 (WFP 2012).

Pakistan’s rural population faces particular challenges, with two-thirds of the total population and 80 percent of the poor population living in rural areas (IFAD 2012). Poverty is particularly widespread in the country’s many mountainous areas where isolated communities, rugged terrain, and ecological fragility make agricultural production difficult and where a lack of access to markets and services contribute to widespread chronic poverty.

For more information, visit the Pakistan Strategy Support Program website.

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2013201420152016
Rice Production
FAO 2016
10,467,150 MT10,504,200 MT10,201,840 MT10,412,155 MT
Wheat Production
FAO 2016
24,211,360 MT25,979,399 MT25,086,174 MT26,005,213 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2016
4,944,210 MT4,936,747 MT5,270,914 MT6,130,000 MT
Soybean Production
FAO 2016
65.00 MT63.00 MT22.00 MT67.00 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2013201420152016
Rice Exports
FAO 2016
3,822,012 MT3,768,391 MT4,051,033 MT3,947,365 MT
Wheat Exports
FAO 2016
121,564 MT12,461 MT9,511 MT5,091 MT
Maize Exports
FAO 2016
127,868 MT10,902 MT60,571 MT55,282 MT
Soybean Exports
FAO 2016
0.00 MT MT0.00 MT5.00 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
1,925 MT21,052 MT11,421 MT61,169 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
94,058 MT21,841 MT0.00 MT386,932 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2016
12,338 MT13,096 MT17,687 MT24,369 MT
Soybean Imports
FAO 2016
143.00 MT3.00 MT6.00 MT1.00 MT