In Pakistan, farm production is dominated by a few crops which account for almost 60 percent of GDP from agriculture. Cropping systems vary widely because of variations in agro-climatic and soil conditions. Wheat is the major winter crop in all regions of the country. In summer, rice, cotton, and maize are grown in areas suitable for their production. Crop production takes place both on irrigated and dry land, with irrigated agriculture contributing about 80 percent of the total production. The five major crops are Wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, and maize. The economic significance of these major crop is briefly described in the following paragraphs.
Wheat production in Pakistan, Asia's third-largest producer, is likely at 25.5 million tons in the 2015-16, that will leave the country with a surplus of a few tons that can be exported. The production is slightly short of the target of 25.45 million tons. Wheat is a staple food in South Asia's second biggest economy which has a population of over 190 million people. Annual consumption is around 23 million tons. Production has gradually increased but seasonal floods always pose a risk to assessment. Anything produce below 23 million tons would mean the country will have to export to meet the demand.
Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of rice following china, India, Indonesia. Rice is the major export and the second most important economic crop in Pakistan. Rice is cultivated over 10% of total cropped area of Islamic republic of Pakistan.
It is contributing approximately 6.7 % in value addition of agriculture and the contribution of rice in GDP is about 1.3 -1.6% in total GDP.
Pakistan, the fifth largest global cotton grower and third largest exporter of raw cotton, is among the major growers of cotton in the world.Today, Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of cotton yarn and fourth largest consumer of cotton, which makes this crop significant for Pakistan's economy.
The textile industry of Pakistan comprises over 400 textile mills and 1,200 ginning units and accounts for 40 per cent of Pakistan's total labour force and nearly 60 per cent of its exports.
Sugarcane is an important cash crop of Pakistan. It is mainly grown for sugar and sugary production. It is an important source of income and employment for the farming community of the country.
It is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world in a range of climates from hot dry environment near sea level to cool and moist environment at higher elevations.
Maize being the highest yielding cereal crop in the world, is of significant importance for countries like Pakistan, where rapidly increasing population has already out stripped the available food supplies.In Pakistan maize is third important cereal after wheat and rice.
Maize has prospective to play major role in nutrition of Pakistani people. It can act as the alternate food source when the conventional cereal grains i.e. wheat and rice are deficient.