Table of Contents
Demand and supply
Overall, the demand for plants in recent years has increased due to major afforestation programs in the country and increased awareness among the masses. The demand is normally met by nurseries; however, there is a specific demand for certain species like Coconut. Fruit plants and a few tree species especially; thorny ones having ornamental value, sometimes fetch high prices in the market.
Sindh has reported that the plants are raised from seeds and cuttings in Forest nurseries spread all over Sindh and then distributed in the shape of plants and cuttings and sometimes Kikar seed to interested growers, government organizations, and NGOs on subsidized rates as notified by the government from time to time. Balochistan stated that historically the annual demand and supply of forest plants in Balochistan used to range between 1.5 to 2.0 million plants raised in Forest Department Nurseries. But the situation has changed after the launch of TBTAP with a total target of 100 million plants by 30 June 2023. In FY Year 2019-20, the seed was utilized for raising some 13 million plants across Balochistan in TBTAP Nurseries.
The target markets for fruit and forest plant nursery businesses include Orchard/woodlot growers, small, medium, and large-scale residential or national highways along with huge local markets in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. There is a high demand for plants in Balochistan and GB whereas in Sindh, Punjab, KP, and AJK, a trend of low demand for forest plants is prevailing in private nurseries. The situation is mostly because of more inclination towards horticultural plants for gardens and landscape management.
In Balochistan and GB, plants are mostly sold to the respective Forest departments. A considerable portion i.e., 14% in Sindh, 33% each in KP and AJK is also sold to the Forest departments. In other cases, a large portion of the nursery produce is sold directly to consumers including private organizations.
Income and employment
A precise number of human resources engaged in public sector for managing nurseries is not known. Regular staff of government are either fully or partially assigned to manage nurseries. In addition, government also relies on temporary labour for seasonal tasks and pays them through muster rolls. An approximate number of human resources for seed / nursery management in the provinces in provided in table.
Nursery raising is a growing enterprise in Pakistan in the private sector. Communities engaged in seed collection, identification and protection of stand and their protection can earn extra income. There is also a high potential for their systematic engagement in nursery management enterprise.
Data on employment generation in nursery/seed sector is not available as such data is not collected and maintained by any institutions in the country. However, analysing data from 100 private nurseries in this study indicates that nurseries and seed business employ a reasonably modest segment of population, especially youth and landless. The estimated projection from this study are as follows:
As per the above analysis, an approximate labor employment generation from private-community-owned nurseries is 53,384 individuals whereas seed selling generates income for some 5,170 individuals. This, and the level of income earned by the enterprises, may further improve by introducing system improvement in the sector.
Economics of Public and Private Nurseries
Table describes per unit cost of different species grown in different geographical locations of Pakistan. This also presents comparative economics of the given species grown in private and public sector nurseries. Private nurseries in Sindh produces Kikar and Neem plants @Rs.8.80 and 8.97 per plant as compared to Rs.17.58 and Rs. 17.65 by government department. In Punjab, per unit Shisham plant in the government nurseries is produced @ Rs.8.28 as compared to Rs.7.08 in the private sector. Similarly, the cost differential in Balochistan between public and private sector nurseries is high for producing Kikar plant. Private nurseries are more efficient (Rs.7.46 per plant) when compared to the government nurseries (Rs.9.08 per plant). It shows that the cost incurred per seedling in Islamabad is Rs.11.86 in private nursery when compared to Rs.18.94 in government nursery, which shows that private nursery is more economical.
Similarly, in GB the total cost of poplar is Rs.9.3 in private nursery when compared to government Rs.20 whereas sale Rs.25-30 for 8ft height and 1 inch diameter, showing the private nursery is much economical than the government nurseries. Whereas in KP the per plant cost in private nurseries is Rs.7.44 for tube whereas Rs.6.68 for bare rooted plants as compared to Rs.8.5 for tube plants and Rs.9.26 for bare rooted plants. In AJK the tube plants in private nursery costs Rs.8.64 when compared to government Rs.12.44, and bare-rooted Rs.5.94 in private against Rs.10.92 in government nursery.
Cost benefit ratio Cost benefit ratio (CBR) has been calculated at market price of the plants sold from the private nurseries. The CBR for government nurseries has not been calculated since mostly the plants are distributed for free or on a highly subsidised rates with an intention to promote afforestation and not for profit generation.
The comparison shows the potential of private nurseries all over Pakistan. In general, private nurseries are comparatively more competitive in terms of price, as in the case of government nurseries. If promoted as a productive sector, the private nursery sector can create significant income for owners and the labor force.
Source: REDD+ Pakistan