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.

Similar Articles Published in JEAS

  • Ali, A. 2021. Assessment of Groundwater Quality using Geographical Information System: A Case Study of Faisalabad, Pakistan. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 23(1&2): 30-35. [View Full-Text]
  • Zacharia, M. and T. Li. 2020. Influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on the variation of September – November precipitation variation in East Africa during 1979-2015. Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences. 22(3): 34-47. [View Full-Text][Citations]
  • Ali, A., H.U. Farid and M.M.H. Khan. 2020. Divergent effect of rainfall, temperature and surface water bodies on groundwater quality in Haveli Canal Circle of Multan Irrigation Zone, Southern Punjab, Pakistan. Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences. 22(4): 25-36. [Abstract] [View Full-Text]
  • Nkurunziza, I.F., T. Guirong, J.P. Ngarukiyimana and C. Sindikubwabo. 2019. Influence of the Mascarene High on October-December rainfall and their associated atmospheric circulation anomalies over Rwanda. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 20:1-20. [Abstract] [View Full-Text] [Citations]
  • Wakachala, F.M., Z.W. Shilenje, J. Nguyo, S. Shaka and W. Apondo. 2015. Statistical Patterns of Rainfall Variability in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 5:17-26. [View Full-Text][Citations]
  • Parak et al., 2015. Trends and anomalies in daily climate extremes over Iran during 1961– 2010. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 2:11. [View Full-Text]


Ahmed, Abid, M., J. Schilling, J. Scheffran and F. Zulfiqar. 2016. Climate change vulnerability, adaptation and risk perceptions at farm level in Punjab, Pakistan. Sci. Total Environ. 547: 447-460.

Ahmad, K.F.Z., S. Muhammad, H.M. Ul, G.H. Tahira, H. Feehan, M.S. Amir, W. Atif. 2013. Agricultural dynamics in Pakistan: current issues and solutions. Russian J. Agric. Socio-Econ. Sci. 20(8): 20-26.

Anwar, M., G. Shabbir, M.H. Shahid and W. Samreen. 2015. Determinants of potato prices and its forecasting: A case study of Punjab, Pakistan. Punjab Economic Research Institute. Online at  PDF 

Athar, M. and T.Z. Bokhari. 2006. Ethnobotany and production constraints of traditional and commonly used vegetables of Pakistan. J. Vegetable Sci. 12(2): 27-38.

Aujla, K., N. Shah, M. Ishaq and A. Fraooq. 2011. Postharvest losses and marketing of grapes in Pakistan. Sarhad J. Agric. 27(3): 485-490.

Bajwa, B. E., M. Imran, A. Qureshi and F. Memon. 2017. A Rapid Need Assessment of Vegetable Value Chains. CABI Rawalpindi.

Barla, S. and R. R. Upasani. 2019. Study on different methods of weed management in onion (Allium cepa L.). Curr. J. Appl. Sci. Technol. 33 (3): 1-7.

Beissinger, A., J.R. Goldberger, C.A. Benedict and D.A. Inglis. 2018. Seed potatoes, virus management, and the nonadoption of an agricultural innovation. Rural Sociol. 83(3): 598-629.

Brown, B., A.K. Hoshide and E.R. Gallandt. 2019. An economic comparison of weed management systems used in small-scale organic vegetable production. Organic Agric. 9(1): 53-63.

Bryan, F.L., P.Tuefel, S.Roohi, F.Qadar, S. Riaz, and Z.U.R. Malik. 1992. Hazards and critical control points of food preparation and storage in homes in a village and a town in Pakistan. J. Food Protect. 55 (9): 714-721.

Butt, M.S., M.T. Sultan. 2018. Nutritional Profile of Vegetables and Its Significance in Human Health. In: Siddiq, M., Ubersax, M.A. (Eds.), Handbook of Vegetables and Vegetable Processing. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Damalas, C.A. and M. Khan. 2017. Pesticide use in vegetable crops in Pakistan: Insights through an ordered probit model. Crop Protect. 99: 59-64.

FAO, 2019. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (Accessed on 4 February 2019).

Fatima, A., S. Abid, and S. Naheed. 2015. Trends in Wholesale Prices of onion and potato in major markets of Pakistan: A time series Analysis. Pakistan J. Agric. Res. 28:2.

Gajendran, G., D. Dinakaran, S. Mohankumar, G. Karthikeyan, R. Muniappan. 2016. Integrated Pest Management for Onion in India. In: Muniappan, R., Heinrichs, E.A. (Eds.), Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable

Crops. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, p. 179-207.
Gardas, B.B., R.D. Raut and B. Narkhede. 2017. Modeling causal factors of post-harvesting losses in vegetable and
fruit supply chain: An Indian perspective. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 80: 1355-1371.

Gardas, B.B., R.D. Raut and B. Narkhede. 2018. Evaluating critical causal factors for post-harvest losses (PHL) in the fruit and vegetables supply chain in India using the DEMATEL approach. J. Clean. Prod. 199: 47-61.

Gioli, G., G. Thapa, F. Khan, P. Dasgupta, D. Nathan, N. Chhetri, L. Adhikari, S.K. Mohanty, E. Aurino and L. M.

Scott. 2019. Understanding and Tackling Poverty and Vulnerability in Mountain Livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. In: Wester, P., Mishra, A., Mukherji, A., Shrestha, A.B. (Eds.), The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People. Springer International Publishing, Cham, p. 421-455.

Government of Pakistan. 2016. Multidimensional Poverty in Pakistan. Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, Islamabad.

Grode, A.S., E. Brisco-McCann, P. Wiriyajitsonboom, M. K. Hausbeck and Z. Szendrei. 2019. Managing Onion Thrips can Limit Bacterial Stalk and Leaf Necrosis in Michigan Onion Fields. Plant Dis. doi: PDIS-07-18-1271-RE.

Hafeez, O., M. Amjad, K. Ziaf and A. Ahmad. 2016. Evaluation of low cost irrigation methods for enhanced onion productivity under semi-arid climate of Pakistan. Pakistan J. Agric. Sci. 53(4): 947-953.

Hailu, A. 2016. Value chain analysis of vegetables: the case of Ejere District, West Shoa Zone, Oromia National Regional State of Ethiopia. Doctoral dissertation, Haramaya University.

Hassan, S., A. Hussain, M.A. Khan and I. Mahmood. 2012. Rural-urban retail prices and marketing margins of fresh fruits and vegetables in Pakistan. Pakistan J. Agric. Res. 25(3): 206-217.

Hussain, A. and G.B. Thapa. 2012. Smallholders’ access to agricultural credit in Pakistan. Food Security. 4(1): 73-85.

Hussain, A. and G.B. Thapa. 2016. Fungibility of smallholder agricultural credit: Empirical evidence from Pakistan. Eur. J. Develop. Res. 28(5): 826-846.

Hussain, F., M. Abid. 2011. Pest and diseases of chilli crop in Pakistan: A review. Int. J. Biol. Biotech. 8(2): 325-332.

Ji, S.H., T.K. Kim, Y.S. Keum, S.-C. Chun. 2018. The major postharvest disease of onion and its control with thymol fumigation during low-temperature storage. Mycobiology. 46(3): 242-253.

Jones, J.B., T.A. Zitter, T.M. Momol and S.A. Miller. 2016. Compendium of Tomato Diseases and Pests, Second Edition. APS Publications.

Kashif, A.R., N. Zafar, F. Arzoo. 2016. Impact of agricultural credit and its nature on agricultural productivity: A study of agriculture sector of Pakistan. J. Environ. Agric. Sci. 9: 59-68.

Khokhar, M.K. 2014. Production status of major vegetables in Pakistan, their problems and suggestions. Agriculture Corner, 9.

Luqman, M. 2019. Angry farmers dump potato produce on Lahore road. (Accessed on 4 March 2019).

Majeed, A., Z. Muhammad. 2018. Potato production in Pakistan: Challenges and prospective management strategies–A review. Pakistan J. Bot. 50(5): 2077-2084.

Mallawaarachchi, T. and S. Ahmad. 2018. Improving market performance of Pakistan horticulture industries: Some Initial Insights: Report: Policy and Institutional Reforms to Improve Horticultural Markets in Pakistan (ADP/2014/043). Working Paper 06/18. Available at

Manan, A., A. Ghafoor, A. Hashmi, M. Raza and R. Shafqat. 2013. Marketing margins analysis of seed cotton in district Khanewal, Pakistan. Pakistan J. Sci. 65(2): 224.

Mari, F.M. 2009. Structure and efficiency anaylsis of vegetable production and marketing in Sindh, Pakistan. Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.

Mariyono, J. 2017. Moving to commercial production: a case of intensive chili farming in Indonesia. Develop. Practice. 27(8): 1103-1113.

Masamha, B., V. Thebe, and V.N. Uzokwe. 2018. Mapping cassava food value chains in Tanzania’s smallholder farming sector: The implications of intra-household gender dynamics. J. Rural Stud. 58: 82-92.

Maude, R. 2018. Leaf diseases of onions. Onions and Allied crops. CRC Press, p. 185-202.

Mazhar, M.S., B.E. Bajwa and T. Ahmad. 2017. Aflatoxin in fresh produce supply chains in Pakistan: Review and way forward. J. Chem. Soc. Pakistan. 39(5): 879-879.

McGovern, R.J. 2015. Management of tomato diseases caused by Fusarium oxysporum. Crop Protect. 73: 78-92.

Naik, P.S., T. Buckseth. 2018. Recent Advances in Virus Elimination and Tissue Culture for Quality Potato Seed Production. In: Gosal, S.S., Wani, S.H. (Eds.), Biotechnologies of Crop Improvement, Volume 1: Cellular Approaches. Springer International Publishing, Cham, p. 131-158.

Özkan, A., R. Bindak and O. Erkmen. 2015. Aflatoxin B1 and aflatoxins in ground red chilli pepper after drying. Food Addit. Contam. Part B. 8(3): 227-233.

Petropoulos, S.A., G. Ntatsi and I.C.F.R. Ferreira. 2017. Long-term storage of onion and the factors that affect its quality: A critical review. Food Rev. Int. 33(1): 62-83.

Rai, R.K., L.D. Bhatta, U. Acharya and A.P. Bhatta. 2018. Assessing climate-resilient agriculture for smallholders. Environ. Develop. 27: 26-33.

Rana, M.A. 2018. Commissions and Omissions: Agricultural Produce Markets in Pakistan, Policy and Institutional Reforms to Improve Horticultural Markets in Pakistan. Working Paper 01/18 (ADP/2014/043)

Rani, S., P. Schreinemachers and B. Kuziyev. 2018. Mungbean as a catch crop for dryland systems in Pakistan and Uzbekistan: A situational analysis. Cogent Food Agric. 4(1): 1499241.

Raut, R.D., B.B. Gardas, M. Kharat and B. Narkhede. 2018. Modeling the drivers of post-harvest losses – MCDM approach. Comput. Electron. Agric. 154: 426-433.

Rich, K.M., R.B. Ross, A.D. Baker, & A. Negassa. 2011. Quantifying value chain analysis in the context of livestock systems in developing countries. Food Policy. 36(2): 214-222.

Salim, H.A., S. Simon and A.A. Lal. 2017. Integrated diseases management (IDM) against tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L) fusarium wilt. J. Environ. Agric. Sci. 11: 29-34.

Samee, D., F. Nosheen, H. Khan, I. Khowaja, K. Jamali, P. Paracha, S. Akhtar, Z. Batool, and Z. Khanum. 2015. Women in Agriculture in Pakistan. FAO Islamabad.

Singh, S.S., B.M. Ghodki and T.K. Goswami. 2018. Effect of grinding methods on powder quality of king chilli. J. Food Meas. Characterization. 12(3): 1686-1694.

Spriggs, J. 2016. Design Mission Report – For HORT/2016/012 High Value Vegetables in Pakistan. ACIAR Canberra.

Spriggs, J., B. Chambers, S. Heaney-Mustafa, A. Roy, N. Akmal, S. Taj, I.A. Khan and T. Mangan. 2017. Women’s empowerment and economic collaboration in rural Pakistan. J. Gender, Agric. Food Sec. 2(2): 52-68.

Tahir, A., H. Shah, M. Sharif, W. Akhtar and N. Akmal. 2012. An overview of tomato economy of Pakistan: comparative analysis. Pakistan J. Agric. Res. 25(4): 288-294.

Taj, S., K.M.Aujla, M. Sharif, and Z. Yasmin. 2009. Gender dimensions of labour participation in vegetable farming system in district Attock of Punjab, Pakistan. J. Agric. Res. 47(1): 91-100.

Thirusendura Selvi, D. and S. Saraswathy. 2018. Seed viability, seed deterioration and seed quality improvements in stored onion seeds: a review. J. Hort. Sci. Biotechnol. 93(1): 1-7.

Thomas-Sharma, S., A. Abdurahman, S. Ali, J.L. Andrade-Piedra, S. Bao, A.O. Charkowski, D. Crook, M. Kadian, P. Kromann, P.C. Struik, L. Torrance, K.A. Garrett and G.A. Forbes. 2016. Seed degeneration in potato: the need for an integrated seed health strategy to mitigate the problem in developing countries. Plant Pathol. 65(1): 3-16.

Van der, H.W., M. U. Hassan, J. H. Ensink, S. Feenstra, L. Raschid-Sally, S. Munir, and Y. Matsuno. 2002. Urban wastewater: a valuable resource for agriculture: a case study from Haroonabad, Pakistan. 63. IWMI.

Vicol, M. 2019. Potatoes, petty commodity producers and livelihoods: Contract farming and agrarian change in Maharashtra, India. J. Agr. Change. 19(1): 135-161.

Zulfiqar, F. and G.B. Thapa. 2017. Agricultural sustainability assessment at provincial level in Pakistan. Land Use Policy. 68: 492-502

Join Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences (JEAS)

Interested to join the JEAS Team

Join JEAS as a member Editorial Board see Editors’ Responsibilities

Join JEAS as a member Review Panel  Reviewers’ Responsibilities

(send your CV through email at

JEAS Indexing Journal of Environmental EAS is indexed by reputed indexing services.

Suggest Indexing service/s through email (

Call for Articles
Submit Your research for publication in the “Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences (JEAS)” through email:

JEAS Recently Published and Highly Cited Articles
Citation record of JEAS: JEAS Google Scholar page
Follow  JEAS Facebook

Subscribe to Get JEAS Updates

We’d love to keep you updated with our latest articles and news😎

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *