According to Pakistani agricultural experts, the nation’s vegetable production is being badly affected by climate change, a lack of proper infrastructure and the rising cost of fertilizers and seeds, especially in the Malakand division.
Former member provincial assembly Syed Jaffer Shah told Pakistan Today that the potato production in three districts of Pakistan’s Malakand division can be increased with government support. Shah said that there is no communication or advisory system for local farmers. He added that floods have destroyed many acres of farm land, but that the government has not made any effort in resolving this issue so far.
Agricultural expert Dr Noor Habib told reporters that potatoes grown in Swat, Upper Dir and Chitra districts comprise 15% of the total production of the country. He added that potatoes in these districts are produced in summer when there is no other production in the country.
Potato production in Pakistan regularly produces 1.5 million tonnes of surplus potatoes, which can be exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and the Middle Eastern countries, according to economic and agricultural experts.