Pulses Production in Pakistan: Status, Constraints and Opportunities

Aman Ullah, Tariq Mahmud Shah, Muhammad Farooq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Pulses are smart crops both for humans and the cropping system as they provide protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber for human diet and nitrogen to the soil and contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity. Pulses, also called grain legumes, contribute about 33% of the global dietary protein requirement of the human population. In Pakistan, the production of pulses is far less than the requirement and the balance is met through imports. The reasons for low production and yield of pulses, in Pakistan, include lack of innovative crop improvement programs and seed distribution system. Currently, about 80% of the pulses are cultivated from the farmers own saved seed. Other major factors responsible for low production and yield are abiotic (drought, heat, salinity) and biotic (weeds, diseases, and insect-pests) stresses, and factors related with soil (marginal lands, alkaline soils with low organic matter and erosion), climate change, lack of crop-specific farm machinery, post-harvest losses and marketing issues. This manuscript discusses the current status, constraints, and opportunities to improve the production of pulses to meet the national requirements. The major opportunities to improve the pulses production includes crop improvement (development of short duration, high yielding, disease resistant and climate resilient varieties), intercropping and growing of pulses as catch crop, adoption of conservation agriculture to conserve the resources, strengthening system of certified seed distribution, provision of crop-specific farm machinery, development and dissemination of site-specific production technologies and seed enhancements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-569
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Production
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Conservation agriculture
  • Dietary protein
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Pulses
  • Seed enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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