High Consumption of Non-degradable Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides in Pakistan

Agriculture sector of Pakistan is the backbone of economy which contributes 18.9% to GDP and absorbs 43.2% of labor force. Moreover, approximately, 22.1 million hectares of land are cultivated annually to feed the mass population of the country. Therefore, Pakistan imports agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers valuing $3.24b annually to meet the production demands and to keep the crops safe from biotic and abiotic threats. These imports are not only a huge economic burden but also jeopardize framers and consumers livelihood. Chemicals from fertilizers integrate into food chain and are reported carcinogens and disease-causing agents. Moreover, being non-biodegradable, pesticides and fertilizers significantly damage the soil architecture. Biodegradable pesticides and fertilizers based on plant growth-promoting microbes are eco-friendly and healthy substitutes of this challenge. Biofertilizers and pesticides do not accumulate in soil, do not portray health challenges, and can be manufactured at local industries minimizing the huge economic burden of chemical imports for agriculture sector.

The Challenge: Minimizing the consumption of non-degradable chemical fertilizers and pesticides & replacing them with biodegradable alternatives.