As the author of Impexter International, I have conducted research on the Desi chickpea market in Pakistan, using reliable sources such as Tridge Intelligence. The following is a report on the current state of the Desi chickpea industry in Pakistan.
Pakistan is one of the largest producers of Desi chickpeas in the world, with a production volume of 604,000 metric tons in the 2020-2021 season. The crop is mainly cultivated in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh, where it is sown in the winter season (October-November) and harvested in the spring season (April-May). The major Desi chickpea varieties grown in Pakistan are Punjab Desi, Thal Desi, and Bittle-98.
Despite high production, Pakistan still imports a significant quantity of Desi chickpeas from other countries such as Australia, Canada, and Tanzania. In the 2022-2023 financial year, Pakistan imported 15,000 metric tons of Desi chickpeas, which was a decrease from the previous year due to an increase in domestic production. However, the lack of proper storage facilities and post-harvest management practices in the country still leads to quality deterioration and reduced marketability of locally produced Desi chickpeas.
To address these issues, the Pakistani government and various non-governmental organizations have launched several initiatives to promote Desi chickpea production and improve post-harvest management practices. For example, the Punjab government has established a network of 21 grain storage facilities with a total capacity of 1.1 million metric tons to facilitate storage and prevent post-harvest losses. The private sector has also shown interest in the Desi chickpea industry and has started investing in value addition and export-oriented activities. Several processing plants have been established in Punjab and Sindh to clean, grade, and pack Desi chickpeas for export to international markets.
The global Desi chickpea market is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing demand
for plant-based protein and health benefits associated with chickpeas. Pakistan has significant potential to increase its exports of Desi chickpeas, particularly to the Middle Eastern and African markets, where the crop is in high demand. To fully harness this potential, it is necessary to address the issues related to post-harvest management and value addition and improve the competitiveness of locally produced Desi chickpeas in the global market.
Desi chickpeas play a crucial role in Pakistan’s agriculture industry and food security. With continued efforts towards sustainable farming practices and market-oriented policies, Pakistan can become a leading exporter of high-quality Desi chickpeas and contribute to the global demand for this nutritious crop.