Improving vegetable value chains in Pakistan for sustainable livelihood of farming communities

Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences (JEAS). Mazhar et al., 2019. Volume 18: 1-9

Open Access – Research Article

Improving Vegetable Value Chains in Pakistan for Sustainable Livelihood of Farming Communities

Muhammad Sohail Mazhar 1, Babar Ehsan Bajwa 1, Gerard McEvilly 2, Gomathy Palaniappan 3, Munawar Raza Kazmi 4
1CABI, Regional BioScience Center, Pakistan.
2 Agriculture Value Chains Collaborative Research, Horticulture Supply Chain Services, Australia.
3 University of Queensland, Australia.
4 Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Pakistan


Abstract: About 60% of Pakistan’s population live in rural areas where multidimensional poverty is much higher than it is in urban centres. The majority of the rural population depends on agriculture for their subsistence. Many farmers operate family smallholdings – comprising less than 5 acres of land where vegetables are often a major, but highly variable, source of household income. This study was conducted to investigate options to improve the livelihood of these communities, particularly women and youth, on a sustainable basis. Four major vegetables (onion, potato, tomato, chillies) were selected to identify potential interventions at all stages of the value chains. A survey was conducted in major production areas in Sindh and Punjab. This included structured interviews with value chain participants; data validation by focus group discussions and a consultative workshop; and data analysis. The findings confirmed the inconsistent quantity and quality of vegetables supplied to the market. If addressed, this represents significant potential for improved financial returns for small-scale vegetable producers and other value chain participants. Challenges include production constraints (such as seed quality, price of inputs, and pests and diseases) and economic constraints (such as mechanism of access to capital, credit, tenancy/land).Overarching socio-cultural factors include the lack of knowledge to address these constraints (including inadequate extension services), restricted agency for women and youth, and barriers to working collaboratively within some communities. Based on these findings, a multidisciplinary ‘whole-of-the-value-chain’ approach addressing the abovementioned constraints has been developed for improving the livelihood of the target communities, with special attention to women and youth. Partnerships with public and private institutions throughout the testing and application of value chain interventions are considered vital to sustain impacts.
Keywords: Gender, pro-poor, quality, safety, women, youth.

*Corresponding author: Muhammad Sohail Mazhar


Cite this article as:

Mazhar, M.S., B.E. Bajwa, G. McEvilly, G. Palaniappan and M.R. Kazmi. 2019. Improving vegetable value chains in Pakistan for sustainable livelihood of farming communities. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 18:1-9. [Abstract] [View Full-Text [Citations]


Copyright © Mazhar et al., 2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original author and source are appropriately cited and credited.


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