Increasing productivity and profitability of pulse production in cereal based cropping systems in Pakistan

Project code
AUD 2,300,953
Research program manager
Dr Eric Huttner
Project leader
Dr Ata Rehman
Commissioned organisation
Charles Sturt University
NOV 2016
DEC 2023
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project will be enhancing the production and profitability of legumes in the existing cropping systems in Pakistan so that the decline in legume production can be reversed. 

Demand for pulses in Pakistan, as in other South Asian countries, outpaces supply due to declining production over the last 20 years. Despite relatively high prices, legumes, especially chickpea and lentils, have been progressively pushed out to the most marginal lands. 

This project aims to identify agronomic factors limiting the productivity and profitability of lentils, chickpeas and groundnut, and evaluate possible solutions, mostly through farmer led research and demonstrations of suitable innovations; increase opportunities for farmers to undertake post-harvest value addition to chickpea, lentil and groundnut crops; develop and evaluate, in partnership with farmers, site specific village-based seed production and dissemination systems to facilitate access to improved varieties; and disseminate the learning and practices from the project activities to other farmers and private-sector participants, such as input suppliers and potential service providers.

Expected project outcomes

  • Increased lentil, chickpea and groundnut production and value addition in cereal cropping system, helping to sustainably meet increasing demand for high-quality legumes in Pakistan.
  • Less reliance on fertiliser to grow cereal crops due to improved nitrogen soil levels.
  • Credible evidence influencing policy change in favour of lentil, chickpea and groundnut production.
  • Increased crop productivity thanks to access to quality seed from better adapted varieties, helping to improve the ability of farmers to maintain and further improve their farming systems.
  • Increased income due to post-harvest value addition.



Summary of outcomes to date


  • The reporting year brought a lot of new learnings by reflecting and getting the right directions.
  • Some trials were repeated consecutively for the second year. However, new trials at different project sites were also initiated.
  • A new approach addressed the bottlenecks encountered during value addition activities.
  • Engaging seed companies strengthened the sustainable pulses seed supply system.
  • Project learnings were disseminated by demonstrating interventions during expansion activities, farmer field days, showcasing, and capacity-building events.
  • Impact analysis encouraged the project team when they observed the improvement in learning of beneficiary farmers.
Key partners
Charles Sturt University
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council
Sindh Agriculture University
University of Arid Agricultural Rawalpindi
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet CIM/2015/041