Soybean production in Pakistan: Experiences, challenges and prospects

Saeed Ahmad Asad*, Muhammad Ashfaq Wahid, Farina Shaheen, Ali Raza, Muhammad Farooq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Pakistan disburses lion's share of foreign exchange to import edible oil and oilseeds-based food/feedstocks for fulfilling domestic needs. Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.), an oilseed crop has the potential to fill the gap between demand and domestic oilseeds production in Pakistan. Soybean seed contains 40-42% protein, 20-22% oil contents, and 20-30% carbohydrates along with numerous other essential vitamins and minerals and termed as a 'miracle crop' and potential food security crop. Soybean was introduced in Pakistan as an oilseed crop during the early 1960s, but its cultivation remained limited until 1970s when adaptability and production trials conducted all over the county yielded promising results. Based on these trials' vast areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly NWFP), Punjab and Sindh were found most suitable for commercial cultivation of soybean. However, at the onset of the current century, soybean cultivation was halted, and it gradually disappeared from cropping schemes of Pakistan. In the current review, we have analyzed the available literature and observed that despite suitable agro-ecological conditions, soybean is facing several challenges such as lack of germplasm with specific maturity groups adaptable to various environmental conditions, unavailability of climate-resilient high yielding and pest resistant genotypes and lack of marketing facilities. Moreover, the absence of area-specific production technology, non-existence of extension service, and lack of coherent policy to promote local oilseed production are the major bottlenecks for the cultivation of soybean in Pakistan. Along with the identification of gaps for low cultivation of soybean in Pakistan, we have proposed potential solutions for enhancing the cultivation of this very important oilseed legume for improved national food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1005
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Agriculture and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adaptability
  • Combat strategies
  • Genotypes
  • Glycine max
  • Limiting factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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