Potato is an important vegetable crop for growers and consumers as well in Pakistan. Overtime, per capita consumption of potatoes has risen to around 14.4 kg in Pakistan mainly due to dietary preferences for fast food. Rapid expansion in the processing industry with the entry of several firms have also contributed to increasing consumption of potato products. Furthermore, potato is the cheapest source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Growing consumer demand and rising government attention to the development of horticultural crops has significantly contributed to the expansion of potato area and production in Pakistan.
In recent years, its production has experienced significant fluctuations mainly due to price changes and demand and supply imbalances. Pakistan has achieved significant improvement in potato yield. Yet, the yield per acre is much less as compared to other potato producing countries. The province of Punjab contributes 93.6% of the total national produce followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (5.17%), Baluchistan (1%), and Sindh (0.33%). Pakistan also exported 364 million tonnes of potato in 2020-2021. Major potato export destinations include Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Iran, UAE, and Russian Federation.
Okara, Sahiwal and Depalpur are the major potato producing area in Punjab. From these area 45 farmers were selected to estimate the profitability of potato crop. Table below shows per acre production cost of potato crop in the study area for cropping season 2021. Major items contributed towards the total cost are seed, fertilizer, land rent, and bardana (packing bags) cost. Average yield in the area was 294 mounds / acre and the average crop price was Rs.1000/mounds during the data collection period. Average profit estimated was Rs.104171/acre and Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) was calculated as 1.61 which shows the economic viability of potato production.
|Table: Potato Production Costs and Profitability Analysis|
|Sr. No.||Operations/Inputs||Cost/Acre (Rs.)|
|1||Cost of Land Preparations||8440|
|2||Cost of Seed & Sowing||31060|
|3||Cost of Water (Tube well & Canal)||6356|
|4||Cost of Fertilizer||28731|
|5||Cost of Dung / FYM||5257|
|6||Cost of Pesticides||6884|
|7||Cost of Weedicides||1595|
|8||Cost of Harvesting||10958|
|9||Full / Half Yearly Land Rent (Rs. / acre)||36133|
|10||Cost of Labor (Permanent+Seasonal Hired)||8789|
|11||Cost of Transport||5500|
|14||Other miscellaneous costs||1000|
|16||Average Yield (40kg/acre)||294|
|17||Crop Price (Rs. /40kg)||1000|
|18||Gross Revenue (Rs. /Acre)||294000|
|19||Aarthi Commission (Total Revenue * 0.065)||19110|
|20||Net Revenue (Rs. /Acre)||274890|
|21||Profit (Rs. /Acre)||104171|
Contributing Author: Prof. Dr. Khalid Mushtaq, Director, Institute of Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, firstname.lastname@example.org, 041-9200644; 0300-6735714
Authors Acknowledge to Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) for providing grant for the field surveys.