Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Organic Farming in Pakistan

Mrs.  P

By Farzana Panhwar (Mrs)
The Sindh Rural Women's Up-lift Group
157-C, Unit No.2, Latifabad, Hyderabad
(Sindh), Pakistan.
Fax: 9221-5830826 and 92221-862570

I am a bio-chemist working in the field of organic agriculture and effects of pollution and environment of human and animal and plant health.


Page One

Organic Products, Social Qualities With Equal And Fair Trade Its Constrain And Future

Impact Of Biotechnology In Reducing Poverty And Hunger In Pakistan

Composting As An Organic Fertiliser

Producing Pesticide Free Fruits And Vegetables

Genetic Engineering, Biotechnology, Floriculture And Its Future In Pakistan

Page Two

Gender Issue In Rural Development Of Sindh In Pakistan

Poultry Farming Practice In Sindh-Pakistan

Chiku or Sapodilla The Neglected Fruit of Sindh

The Characteristics Of Rabbit Farming

Organic Products, Social Qualities With Equal And Fair Trade Its Constrain And Future

Why organic farming is necessary.

In Pakistan most of large farms are run by absentee land lords, in this case land is cared by the workers, who have no feeling of ownership amount of production, margin of profit. On other hand small land owners, who are present on the farms have constraints of purchasing large amount of inputs associated with risk are forced to diversify their investments. To cover risks they usually reduce farm inputs but are not able to reduce environmental degradation like soil erosion, pollution, excess water input, water logging drainage, control of perennial weeds etc. Organic farmer pays more to the labours also controls his farm as well as off farm environmental costs. They cut production cash costs by putting family labour eliminate inorganic fertilisers, pesticide and herbicides and reduce soil erosion. Conventional food may contain carcinogens, chemicals that cause diseases including cancer. Additive in processing may further activate carcinogens. This food may contain nitrates and other preservative or nitrosamine which are potent carcinogen. Conventional farmer spent more on input of fertilisers, pesticide and these wastes goes to the environment specially ground water. This type of farming enters into industrial production processing and distribution system the whole chain of which adds some more chemicals. The cost of this industrial model for agriculture are phenomenal and extremely wide reaching, yet unrecognised as industrial production making use of more chemicals and machine produces food cheaper, better in cosmetic look and yet poisoned by chemicals. Organic farming has potential of niche markets for local high valued, non-conventional, indigenous and local agricultural products like medicinal herbs, traditional agriculture and non-timber tree products. Farmers trends to switch to organic farming is correlated closely with the size of conversion grants. The subsides for conventionally produced food currently limit the growth of organic agriculture to the size of market that is willing to pay higher price to the consumer. Although organic products and its market outlet are limited but premium prices may boost the market.

World picture of organic farming.

In 1989, subsidies were introduced in several European countries, like Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, to encourage conversion to organic farming, which changed 376,000 hectares of land by 10,000 farmers into organic farming. In Germany where subsidies are available for two years so 7.9% of farm of farm and 3.6% land changed to organic farming.

In 1989 Europe is able to increase 200,000 hectares to 900,000 hectares organic farming. In Iran total 20,000 ha with production of 107,000 kg per year well adopted to social structure of family oriented activity. It is based on manual work, production and processing based on indigenous methods and animal manure is the main source of plant nutrition. In EU countries the number of organic farmer have increase from 6,000 in 1985 to 48,000 today. Italy have 30,000 certified organic farmers. In Scandinavian countries 8% are certified organic farmers. Australia has 10%, U.K 5% organic farmer. The total farm area in Pakistan 19.7 million hectares, which is 28% of the total area of the country. The average size farms in 1972 was 5.2 hectares. In Pakistan only few farmers are organic farmers. Ministry of Agriculture, fisheries and food in U.K pay support of 50 per ha per year for 5 years to convert to organic farming. Expected growth rate of organic farming in the World is 20-30% but organic agriculture will never be able to feed the rapidly growing world population due to low labour out put inspite of high yields. Due to over use of chemicals, land is depleted of organic matter and average production per ha decreases. Food produced in excess to demand serves to reduce commodity prices, received by farmer's but hungry people ill afford high priced organic food.

Organic agriculture.

Organic approach is to minimise the adverse impacts on the environments, by avoiding the use of materials from non-renewable resources, recycling where possible, use minimum amount of pesticides, avoiding the use of resources which cause pollution, relying on crop rotation, using crop residue recycling animal manure, legumes, and green manure, biological pest control, minimum tilth to be used to maintain soil productivity, to minimise the energy costs of production and transportation materials, to keep soil more fertile. Organic methods improve soil health, increase population of healthy worms, fungi and other soil organisms. Organic agriculture saves the land from losses due to erosion and soil degradation, improve soil fertility and enhances moisture conservation. Diverse varieties only be used under unfavourable conditions.

Organic farming is based on less inputs, better market demand due to having environmental and social concerns. It also based on local resources and technologies that provide farmer better independence and more control over their means of production. Environmental impacts of organic farming are:

Organic farming in Pakistan.

Its objective are to develop low capital less labour intensive, high yielding, better quality and healthy organic farming. Reducing the cost of production to minimum to achieve self sufficiency in all inputs. It is recognised as a long-term solution to the problem caused by nitrate pollution. Organic agriculture in the beginnings shows lower yields than conventional cropping but as its input are lower than conventional agriculture and labour in Pakistan is cheap, in long when organic agricultural methods have improved soil characteristics, soil fauna and established worm activity and large production of vermicasts, the yields will surpass the conventional methods.

Nutritional criteria of organic products.

People's choice of food is based not only on prices, taste, but also takes in to account, moral, religious and dietary reasons. Some even think in terms of exploitation of human and natural resources and degradation of environments. The organic food on the whole is nutrition and meets anatomical and physiological requirements of human. It also helps in interaction of food clean like production, processing, packaging and trading within the environment and the social structures.

Organic practising.

The organic farmers used garlic pyrethrum and neem to control pest and diseases, also use predators like Encarsia Formosa used to control green house, white fly and phytoseinlus persimilis a predator mite used for two-spotted mite control also get composts are a wonder producing by recycling garden and kitchen wastes. Mulch is magic and not help in suppressing weed but gives plants raised all macro and micro-nutrients, in chelated forms and vermicasts rich in nutrients and antibiotics. Biomass use as organic matter and also does the same. Crop rotations and inter cropping is designed to improve soil fertility. Organic matter composts and manures improve the soil health and thereby plant health to the extent that pests attack on crop is reduced and damage is negligible.

Animals and organic farming.

The organic farmer must work hard to integrate animals in to the farming system:

Market trends.

Organic products have premium market which make not available to the whole population due to prices constraints. The prices of organic products is increased by factor such as: small scale production, widely dispersed farm, separate packing facilities more expensive recycled packaging and pricing policies of shops. Some consumers are ready to pay more for food that has superior quality. Consumer demand for organic products is gradually increasing due to concern about the environments and health implications of industrial agriculture although there is no relation between consumer and producer but the poor financial performance of organic farming reflects the financial problems of small farmers in some cases due to lack of access to premium market helps. Such difficulties have forced out from the business the small organic farmers. It is possible that organic farmers market their products directly but it requires more labour and organisation. Organic food are supplied to supermarket also provide home delivery. Seasonal production and regional markets remain an important objective in organic farming. We have to maintain National Organic Standards Board to decide the criteria of what is organic? International movements (IFOAM) has formulated basic standards to define organic production. Food containing products of gene technology should be labelled, so consumer have an option, Bioethics influences the marketability of products derived from biotechnology. It is the consumers who decide on the prospects of biotechnological markets. Organic food should be labelled that consumer products not derived from genetically engineered varieties. Organic product must boost-out agribusiness, chemical-biotech corporation and giant supermarket chain. The most developed markets for organic food are Northern World.

There are 300 organic trade marks on the market. Organic label is common in 15 countries. Organic trade should strengthening the local communities for better social and environmental accountability, food security, conserving natural resources, control biological and cultural diversity.

Fair trade.

Healthy food and fair trade organisations accept the principal of external monitoring by labelling. Organisation are awarded label of approval. The Fair Trade based on equal partnership between the Southern producers, Northern importers, labelling organisation, fair trade shops and consumers these organisation work with the producer organisation. They produce to improve the ecological sustainability of production. It also provide protection to the new comers in this field, this will be helpful to the farmer's organisation to secure working capital, long term loan for investments, market information, communication, management, and technical support and assistance, but it also required guarantee that labelled products meet fair trade criteria. Fair trade can lead to environmental benefits.

Fair trade need fair and real cost covering prices for farmers all over the world but its products must be upto international standards in terms of quality and quality and must be accountable to the labelling organisation. International fair-trades help strengthening local economics. National fair-trades designed their own label and define the condition under which producers, trade and industry acquire the right to use the fair trade label in their commercial promotion. The fair trade rules exist for coffee, cocoa, banana, honey, sugar but royalties are imposed to cover operating cost when one uses these fair trade label. Certification either from fair-trade or organic Agriculture Movement produce confidence and trust. This protects the consumer's rights. Fair trade must provide social fairness, ecological responsibilities as pre-conditions, for sustainable production. It contribute to improve the living standard of economically disadvantaged small farmers to strengthening their self-governing organisation. Certifying organisation has devised special criteria for quality assurance, in-co-operaiton with the inspection organisation IMO (Institute for Market Ecology) and in accordance with IFOAM's accreditation programme.

Fair trade may have problem due to lack of management skill, private interest could be more than co-operative interest, market diversification into conventional, fair trade and organic market. Organic certification is slow, laborious and costly process and is a challenge to small producers. The price premium above the market price is insufficient, while inflexibilities inherent in fair trade model eroded a substantial part of the price premium. Fair trade movement is able to seriously challenge the social dumping that involves the exploitation of cheap labour and child labour.



Impact Of Biotechnology In Reducing Poverty And Hunger In Pakistan

In 1197 Pakistan population was 137.8 millions. The incidence of poverty in Pakistan is estimated between 30-35% of the population. The poverty line is sent with reference to daily caloric intake of 2,550 calories per adult, as recommended by the Planning commission. The incidence of poverty declined from 46.0% of the population in 1984-85 to 37.4% in 1987-88 and 34.0% in 1990-91. In 1990-91, the incidence of poverty was higher in rural area (36.9%) then in urban area (28.0%).

Poverty line were set at Rs.296 (US$8.40) for monthly per capita consumption expenditure in rural areas and Rs.334 (US$9.50) for monthly per capita consumption expenditure in urban area, poverty based on this method was 31.6% of population below the poverty line 1991. And poverty in rural areas was 33.5% then in urban area is 27.0%.

In Pakistan 65% population live in the rural areas their main profession is agriculture or agricultural related work. In 1981, 26.2% of population above 10 years was literate. While in 1981 literacy rate at the age group 15-24 for males was 54.6%. In urban area it was 35.8%, in rural area it was 64.2%, while for female illiteracy rate was 75.1% for urban area it was 51.9% in the rural area it was 87.9%.

The rural poverty in Pakistan has been artificially created. The responsibility lies on the Federal Government's Price control Board. At the time of independence in 1947, agriculture was the dominating sector, contributing 53% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). In 1987, 40 years after the formation of Pakistan, it contributed only 25% of GDP, still providing employment to more than 50% of the country's total labour-force. Agriculture and Agro-based industries accounts for 80% of country's total labour-force. The present prices of what in 1995 at Rs.160 per 40 kgs, is about 46.34% of 1975 prices in terms of real prices. Between 1975 Pak Rupee Visa-Vis US Dollar has depreciated from Rs.9.90 to Rs.31.00 per US$1.00. the US Dollar in turn has also depreciated to 0.3329 of 1975 its value. This justifies the price of wheat to do increased by 10 times fixed by the Government to that of 1975 or Rs.396.5 per 40 kgs, against Rs.160 as fixed by the Government.

Consequences of price control.

Why prices are controlled?

By these policies government have create a poverty in the rural areas of Pakistan.

In 2025 due to new technologies and new trade laws like GATT, WATO, International Property Right, these International laws will change the shape of Pakistan government policies.

By the next century we have transgenic crops with better yields and more nutrition and would be able to grow under adverse condition. This will definitely bring change in Pakistan agriculture and it will help in reducing the poverty by creating more markets and jobs. It will provide cheap food to every one but since Pakistan population growing at the rate of 2.8% paper year, by the year 2025 it will be 232.9 millions, while per capita the cropping area will be reduced to 0.7 hectare. The existing land will also suffer due to shortage of water which will reduced from 3,833 cubic meters to 1,643 cubic meters, per capita as a result even when the land is available, it can not be put under agriculture due to shortage of water. At the same time cropped land will further be reduced, due to increase in salinity and water logging. IN 1993 the extent of water logging and salinity in Pakistan at 0-5 feet or 0-152 cms water table depth was 4,923,000 hectares while in Sindh it was 3,633,000 hectares. In 1993 extent of water logging and salinity at 0-10 feet or 0-305 cms water table depth was 9,186,000 hectares while in Sindh it was 5,054,000 hectares.

It means only small portion of land will be left suitable for agriculture having proper irrigation even this cultivated land will further be forced by CO2 emission which in 1992 was 0.6 metric tons and climatic change and global warming also bring the change in cropping pattern. Switching over to new cropping pattern in a slow process.

It means Pakistan depend upon import of food. If we see the global picture, the average production of cereals in the World in 1990-91 was 1,925,044,000 metric tonnes. It changed only by 18% change since 1980-82. In 1990-92 the average yield of cereals in the World was 2,757 kilograms per hectare, while it was only 22% change, since 1980-82. If we see a World picture of cereal production and yields in the past ten years, the change is only 18-22%. Global population is project6ed to reach 10 billion by the year 2025, so global agricultural production must expand 2.5 - 3.0 times to provide and adequate diet to the World people.

The World per capita food production has dropped due to increases in agricultural labour, reduced area under cultivaiton and shortage of irrigation water. Advanced technologies and mechanisation, advance crop breeding practices need more input of fertilisers and pesticides. The World food producing does not grow as fast as population increase.

This picture shows that biotechnology alone can not feed the World we also need other methods of production simultaneously discussed this issue with the top agriculturist in Pakistan and according to them in year 2025 the scientist may develop high potency vitamin and nutritional tablets to cover malnutrition but no one knows that a kind of gene may be evolved which would produce crop without the help of soil, or may be a kind of gene is evolved which results into a well balanced diet. We may then need another types of raw materials, other than agriculture based.

Composting As An Organic Fertiliser


Our purpose to produce compost is to develop ecologically sound solution to utilise wastes, by cheapest methods and provide environmental friendly way to produce valuable fertiliser for crop production.

Panhwar fruit farm is located 25°-37'N and 68°-36'E of Hyderabad, where we start using our own compost on 100 acres (42 hectares) fruit orchards. We made compost by putting following things together. There are:

1 cubic meter = 35.2 cubic feet - sawdust.

Urea = 1 kg.
Triple phosphate = 1 kg.
Potassium sulphate = 1 kg.
CuSO4 = 200 grams.
ZnSO4 = 250 grams.
FeSO4 = 250 grams.
MnSO4 = 150 grams.
Boron = 150 grams.

Scientific results

The following are the scientific results:

Advantages of composting are multifold and digestion of bulky organic matter to almost to one third its original volume but increase in nutrient level of nitrogen, phosphate and potash to multiple fold. The product is readily available to the plants in their most acceptable form and is easy to transport, store and apply. Due to its stability in dry conditions and use by plants, simply when wet. It does not leach down and micro-nutrients in its are readily taken by root in chelated form.

Compost can also be partially dissolved in water and solution containing ingredient can be mixed with water for foliar feed of the plants. Almost any non-synthetic organic matter can be converted into compost by addition of the ingredient discussed above in quantities to produce a balanced product.

Our approach to composting

Although composting consist of transforming organic matter rich into carbohydrates and deficient in nitrogen to be converted into new and stable product by involvement of an aerobic bacteria which consume carbohydrates in the process of their metabolism and converting nitrogen into stable product and micronutrients like copper, zinc, manganese, iron into their chelate organic form for ready application to soil as well as its use as propagation media. The common raw materials for farm composting are: crop residue, grass clipping, leaves, newspaper, peatmose, straw and wood chips and saw dust. Factors affecting the composting process include oxygen, aeration, nutrients (C:N ratio), moisture, porosity, structure; texture, and particle size, pH, temperature and time. It is suggested to use two parts leaves and one part grass clipping result into fast decomposition with no odour produce. The best compost consisted of three times as much plant matter as manure.

The various types of composting include:

Composting experience at Panhwar Fruit Farm

In Pakistan usually people use flood irrigation, which create temporarily anaerobic conditions after every application, which is frequent in our hot and dry weather, resulting into reduction in yield. We therefore, planned to irrigate indirectly by planting the trees on ridges about 2 meter wide and 25-30 cm high and applying water in furrows. Furrow width varies between 2.4 - 4.0 meters depending upon the type of fruit tree. We dump grass grown in the furrow under the trees on the ridges as mulch and put irrigation water in the furrow. It seeps horizontally in the ridges and while evaporating it moistens mulch which in presence of air and moisture is attacked by fungus, bacteria, insects their predators earthworms and in three month, when a new layer of grasses growing in the furrow is dumped on the ridge. This is compost in its most acceptable form.

The pan-evaporation is approximately 30 cm per month from 15th April to end August. Winter are mild, but evaporation of 4-6 cms is common in January the coldest month. Average annual rainfall is 15 cms, which occurs in July-August and is spread over 7 days. Rainfall of 12.5 cm can occur in 24 hours once in 10 years. Annual evaporation is 2.3 meters.

We find following Scientific Results


Composting practice at our farm brings fruit plants into fruiting within 24-36 months which other wise comes to production in the 5th year. This is because plants are healthy and there is less attack of diseases.

Producing Pesticide Free Fruits And Vegetables

There is demand world over for pesticide free food, but the information on the various natural pesticides is lacking and therefore, these methods are little used in Pakistan and other developing countries. In the developed countries, the methods being labour intensive are costly and only marginally competitive. A number of articles have been written on Neem products as pesticides, but extracting Azadirachtin in powder form has failed in Pakistan, inspite of the claims to the contrary, as processing technique have not been fully understood. The process of extraction is known theoretically, but has not made any headway, although there is great scope for its export too.

The other species growth in Pakistan in abundance have never been tried. Even neem known to work for control of many insects, pests, fungi, nematodes and viral diseases is used in a very primitive manner and by processes which are not practical, except on a small scale for kitchen garden or plots less than an acre. A solution has to be found for its commercial scale applications and extraction on much larger scale. If the market price is guaranteed by the government, private sector can achieve results easily.

Many fruits and vegetable crops have properties of controlling many insects and diseases and such crops though commonly grown commercially have a certain percentage of products rejected as unmarketable. This part of crops could easily be collected and sold to plants, if they are established on small scale in the rural areas near the farms. Such fruits and vegetbales are:

These plants have pesticide properties in their seeds, leaves, stalks, un-ripe fruit, bulbs rhizomes etc., and act by different modes of action. Each one control different pests like; aphids, caterpillars, green bugs, fruit flies, leaf minors, red spiders, ants, slugs, house flies, mites, white flies, bacteria, scab, bowl-worm, thrips, anthracnose, hoppers, scales, termites, thrips, mosaic virus, powder mildew etc. Table attached gives names of some of these agricultural species and their pesticide properties.

Insect-controlling Plants.

Plants of pest control should posses the following characteristics:


Plant parts with insect controlling properties

Mode of action

Target pest


Custard apple

(Annona reticulata)

Seeds, leaves, unripe fruit.

Contact and stomach problem, ovicidal, insecticidal, repellent, antifeedent and antinematode.

Aphid, caterpillars, Green bug, Mediterranean fruit fly.


Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilium), Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum).

Leaves and stem.

Repellent, insecticidal, fungitoxic and mollu scicidol.

Fruit fly, leaf miners, red spider and mites.



Stomach position insecticidal, repellent, antifeedent, fumigant-viroid.

Ants, aphid, caterpillars and slugs.


Allium Sativum (Fam. Lilaceqe).


Insecticidal, repellent, antifeedent, fungicidal, nematocidal and effective against ticks.

Aphids, house flies, mites, white fly, bacteria, cucumber and scab.


Zingber officiale (Fam. Zingiberacae).


Repellent, insecticidal, nematocidal and fungicidal.

American bowl worms, aphid, thrips, white fly, and mango anthracnose.


Seeds and leaves.

Insecticidal, repellent, antifeedant acaricidal, growth inhibiting nematocidal, fungicidal, anti-viral. Neem compounds act mainly as stomach poison and systemic.

American boll-worms, ants, deserts, locust, leaf hoppers, leaf miners, mites, scales, termites, thrips, white fly.


Carcia papaya.

Leaves, seed, unripe and fruit.

Flower thrips and fruit fly.

Mosaic virus and powdery mildew.


Nicotana tabacum, Nicotana Rustica, Nicotana glutnosa, and Fam. Solanaceae.

Leaves and stalk.

Insecticida, repellent, fungicidal, acaricidal contact, and stomach.

Aphids, caterpillars, leaf miners, mites and thrips.


Curcum domstica (Fam. Zigiberaceoe).


Repellent, insecticidal and antifungal.

Aphids, caterpillars, mites and rice leaf hoppers.

Genetic Engineering, Biotechnology, Floriculture And Its Future In Pakistan


In Pakistan the floriculture is not very well developed. We mostly have fresh flower market, which is all most flooded with roses, because roses are used in all types of ceremonies, as well as in perfume industry and in many Auravedic and Greek medicine preparations. While other flowers which are entering in fresh flower business are orchids, tulip, lily, Jasmine and gladioli, while others are less important.

Pakistan has successfully involved in biotechnology, tissue culture, cutting of floriculture as a result we are now in a position to export these flowers to the developed world. But in order to compete the world we have to study economic trend of shortage and over supply of some flower species in particular season as a result of this the prices of commodities become too low to grow them economically. In order to enter in the world floriculture business, we must consider these points.

The flowers in the world market may be rejected on the followings ground:

Floriculture which dominate the world market.

Cut flower.

Future of exotic flowers.

Dracacnas species and varieties are:

The micro-propagation is common in Rededge.

Alstroemeria - varieties.

Fresia - leading varieties.

Lillies - leading varieties.

Foliage plants.

Consumer preference according to colour.

50% red, 10% Sonia pink, 10% other softer pink (bridal pink), 5% creams and whites.

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum - pictum). The more important commercially grown species are:

Rooted and unrooted cutting have great potential of import. But micro-propagation in future effect the import of following species from developing countries:

Bromeliaceae species and varieties are.

All are produce exclusively by micro propagation.

Foliage pot plant.

For import all flowers must qualify following criteria.

The role of genetic engineering and biotechnology in Floriculture.

Genetic engineering works on floriculture under process in the world.

Future of genetic engineering.

In Future the Biotechnology will play a role to develop flowers free from following infections and diseases.

A) Live organisms of the animal kingdom, at all stages of their development.

B) Bacteria.

C) Fungi.

D) Viruses and virus-like pathogens.


Role of genetic engineering in all fields of life is an important subject. Future of floriculture lies on genetic engineering and biotechnology, which will produce the future flowers free from pathogen, having better colour, better shapes of petals, better pre and post-harvest life with keeping them fresh for long time, short time of growth with desired feature, characteristics and smell. We are sure that future floriculture will bring revolution in perfume business since it is confirmed that now a days many people are allergic to special smell of some flowers. But genetic engineering will over come this problem in future.

Pakistan can easily get into floriculture market of the world. As we have better soil, suitable temperatures and good sun-shine which are the primary needs of any agrobusiness. Although Pakistan is far-behind in advance technologies but we are sure in future we will also come forward in learning and application of genetic engineering and biotechnology and compete the floriculture market in the world and bring revolution in agribusiness and earn foreign exchange.

Search Our Site

pointer Return to Contents' Page pointer

Revised January 29, 2004

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture