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Crop Damage in Pakistan Could Impact Global Agricultural Markets

Floods in Pakistan have caused irreparable damage towards the agricultural output for 2022.

Published
Climate Change
2 min read
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Edited By :Tejas Harad

Pakistan's floods have caused irreparable damage towards the agricultural output for 2022. With over one-third of the country swimming under water, the damage to agricultural land is over 2 million acres of crops and orchards as reported by the United Nations.

The flood damages have created massive food shortages within the country, leading Pakistan to consider ending the three-year ban on imports from India.

This has led to concern over how the flood damage in Pakistan will affect global agricultural markets, especially with the global market for wheat facing shortages due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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Flood Damage Could Lead to Wheat Shortages of 2.6 Million Tonnes 

Pakistan is one of the most important exporters of cotton, rice, and wheat. The country is seventh in wheat production, fifth in cotton production and 10th in rice production globally.

Wheat is Pakistan's most important agricultural product, accounting for approximately 37 percent of the total farmland and 70 percent of the total agricultural production.

With damage to majority of the croplands, the situation is looking especially grim for next year's sowing season, which is usually expected to start in October. Because of the floods, the planting of the crops may be pushed back, further delaying the harvest season.

With the harvest season right upon the country, food shortage is one of the biggest concerns for the country's population.

The country is possibly looking at wheat shortage of over 2.6 million tonnes.

The total economic damages caused by this are approximately 550 billion dollars, according to a rough assessment conducted by Uzair Younus, Director of the Pakistan Initiative for the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center.

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Pakistan Considers Suspending Ban on Imports From India Due to Food Shortages 

Due to food shortages, Pakistan has had to resort to importing vegetables and grain from Iran and Afghanistan. The situation has now gotten so dire that the country is considering suspending the ban on imports from India. They are hoping to create a land route for duty-free imports.

"Pakistan can consider importing vegetables and other food items from India to help people cope with the widespread destruction of crops in the recent flash floods."
Miftah Ismail, Pakistan Finance Minister
Pakistan had initially instated the ban on trade imports from India in retaliation to the Indian government's decision to remove the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, thus reinforcing India's claim on the region.

Pakistan was initially dependent on India for meat, cotton, wheat, and cereal flour imports. However, post trade ban, the country replaced Indian imports with Brazil, United States, and China.

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