FAO in Pakistan

Dialogue on Current Fertilizer Policy


The fertilizer policy in Pakistan needs a review. The current fertilizer policy that is in force in Pakistan is of the year 2001. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and U.S. Department for Agriculture (USDA) organized a dialogue on “Current Fertilizer Policy”. This dialogue was a part of an ongoing effort by USDA and FAO for soil fertility management and promoting sustainable agricultural intensification in Pakistan.
This dialogue brought together approximately 40 participants from the Agricultural Services and Engineering Departments of National Fertilizer Industry, Government Provincial Agriculture Extension, Research and Agricultural Information Departments, National Fertilizer Development Centre, HarvestPLUS, Farmers Associations, International Potash Institute Switzerland, Academia, Planning Commission and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.
Dr. Nadeem Amjad, Chairman PARC highlighted the imbalance in fertilizer use and said high fertilizer prices are the major constraints to achieve good crop yield. He emphasized that 4R nutrient stewardship can help to decrease the cost of production and enhance nutrient use efficiency. However, we need inter-relaed comprehensive fertilizer and integrated nutrient management policies at provincial level.

Last year, FAO invited proposals from all the stakeholders including major national fertilizer companies and farmers’ associations over the current fertilizer policy. Through this consultative process, a draft document will be prepared and shared with the government for consideration, Dr. Waqar Ahmad Soil/NRM Expert, FAO added.

Since 2001, a number of variables related to the fertilizer policy have changed. Farmers’ Perspective needs to be included as well. A significant yield gap exists between potential and the actual yields in Pakistan. This gap in yield can be filled through balanced use of fertilizers. The shortage of fertilizer and its spiraling cost are the determinants of the imbalanced use of fertilizers. A sound farmer-friendly fertilizer policy could play a vital role in the sustainable agriculture.