Economic impact of sugarcane breeding contributes PKR 38 billion to farmers

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“During 2016-17, economic impact of sugarcane breeding research of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad was estimated at Rupees 38 billion. Economic benefits averaged Rs. 16 billion per year during the whole study period since 2000-01 to 2016-17.”

This was stated by Dr Abid Mahmood, Director General (Research), Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad on the eve of publishing of the 4th report-cum-book of Impact Assessment Series captioned “Impacts of Sugarcane Breeding Research of AARI, Faisalabad”. Dr Abid further elaborated that Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad has been at the forefront in developing sugarcane production in the country. Research system of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad has developed and released 24 sugarcane varieties so far for general cultivation in Punjab. This is a continuous process keeping in view the ever-changing biological scenario as well as the needs of the sugar industry.

He added that sugarcane varieties developed by AARI’s Research System have been widely appreciated and adopted by the sugarcane growers in Punjab. Moreover, the share of AARI’s varieties in sugarcane cultivation of the Province of Punjab was 92% percent during 2016-17. Before this, the Principal Author of the Impact Series, Dr Mohammad Ishaq Javed (Agri. Economist) said that the completion of this 4th report of Assessment series, is basically the combined efforts of a dedicated team including Dr Naeem Ahmad (Director Sugarcane Research Institute, Faisalabad), Dr Muhammad Ijaz Tabassum (Assistant Botanist, Genetics) and Mr Iftekhar Nabi (Assistant Research Officer) including the patronage of Dr Abid Mahmood (Director General Research AARI, Faisalabad. Dr Ishaq , while explaining the history of Impact Assessment Series of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad dilated that Impact Assessment series on wheat, cotton and rice crops have earlier been published and much appreciated among the stake holders like Agri. Scientists, Professors, policy makers etc…

Rajan pur remained the top yield region with 93 tons per hectare in Punjab: 4th Impact Assessment Series officially published by Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI).

He said, this report comprising six chapters including… introduction, origin & classification of sugarcane, sugarcane breeding research, adoption of sugarcane varieties, impacts of AARI’s sugarcane breeding research and lastly summary & conclusions. According to Dr Ishaq Javed, what is important is not a comparison “between current and previous yields but rather between current yields and what yields otherwise would have been” in the absence of research.

Dr Naeem Ahmad ( Director Sugarcane Research Institute, Faisalabad) stated on the issuing of impacts of sugarcane breeding that Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia were the main sugarcane producing countries. Brazil stood at 1st position in sugarcane production with 769 million tons while India at 2nd position with 348 million tons followed by China with 123 million tons, Thailand with 87 million tons, Pakistan with 65 million tons, Mexico with 56 million tons, Colombia with 37 million tons, Indonesia with 34 million tons, Guatemala with 34 million tons and United States with 30 million tons.

According to the 4th Assessment Series on sugarcane, it is highlighted that in Punjab, sugarcane is cultivated in 33 districts. During the crop year 2016-17, the highest average yield of sugarcane 93 tons per hectare (93339 kgs/hectare) was recorded in district Rajan pur followed by Rahim Yar Khan with 78 tons per hectare (78766 kilograms), Bahawalpur with 68 tons per hectare (68252 kilograms), Muzaffar Garh with 66 tons per hectare (66868 kilograms), Khanewal with 66 tons per hectare (66499 kilograms), Bhakkar with 65 tons per hectare (65,669 kilograms), Dera Ghazi Khan with 65 tons per hectare (65116 kilograms), Lodhran with 64 tons per hectare (64931 kilograms), Toba Tek Singh with 62 tons per hectare (62349 kilograms) and Jhang with 61 tons per hectare (61150 kilograms per hectare).

The results of the study revealed that AARI, Faisalabad has been clearly the leading organization working in sugarcane yield improvement research in Punjab. The sugarcane varieties developed by AARI’s research system covered 92% sugarcane cultivation of Punjab in the last year of analysis. Varietal yield improvement research of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad continued to generate enormous benefits thought the whole study period. Sugarcane growers of Punjab were able to produce additional sugarcane of worth Rs. 15.85 billion annually by planting sugarcane varieties developed by Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad from 2000-01 to 2016-17.

Conclusions of Impact Assessment Series on sugarcane are summarized as:

  1. share of AARI’s sugarcane varieties in Punjab’s sugarcane cultivation remained between 41.5 to 91.69 percent throughout the whole study period;
  2. SPF 234 ruled over the sugarcane fields of Punjab from 2004–05 to 2016-17. Its share in sugarcane cultivation of Punjab remained between 7% and 34.54% during these years;
  3. HSF 240 gained popularity among sugarcane growers during 2006-07. Its share in Punjab’s total sugarcane cultivation was 2.35 % in 2006-07 and was 32.14% in 2016-17;
  4. additional sugarcane produced due to the adoption of AARI’s sugarcane varieties remained between 2160 thousand tons and 8401 thousand tons annually during the whole study period. On an average, sugarcane growers of Punjab harvested additional 5104 thousand tons sugarcane annually by adoption of AARI’s sugarcane varieties;
  5. economic impact of AARI’s sugarcane varietal yield improvement research ranged between Rs. 1.9 billion and R. 37.8 billion per year from 2000-01 to 2016-17. The value of additional sugarcane produced in Punjab attributable to AARI’s sugarcane breeding research system was estimated at Rs. 16 billion annually throughout the study period.


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