This project aimed to provide policy-makers with evidence-based economic analysis and advice so they can reduce constraints to pulses production and trade, and increase productivity in Pakistan.
Pulses are dried seeds of the legume family (including chickpeas, mung beans, lentils and mash beans) and are an important source of vegetable protein in Pakistan. International and domestic demand for pulses is expected to grow, but production has stagnated in recent years. Production and prices are volatile, and post-harvest losses are significant.
ACIAR is implementing a large project (CIM/2015/041) to increase productivity and profitability in the pulses sector. Biological/agronomic research into pulses is laudable, but inappropriate policies and insufficient understanding of the market may limit productivity and profitability.
Publically available information and analysis of the pulses industry and related policy is limited.
- reviewed policies and programs that affect pulses production and trade in Pakistan;
- identified the constraints and barriers to further pulses production and consumption, including financial viability of pulses and competing crops;
- analysed how Government policies affect pulses prices and producer profitability; and
- advised Pakistani policy-makers on policy reform to increase pulses production and trade.
Poor farmers will benefit from changed policies potentially resulting in increased pulses profitability, diversity, more efficient resource-allocation and competitive markets, and hence higher and more stable incomes, while consumers will have cheaper, more diverse and better quality food.
While it is expected that the full impact of project will be realised in the years to come, a number of outcomes have already been achieved. They include capacity building, provision of policy advice, and evidence of policy reform.