Dinkum Journal of Natural & Scientific Innovations (DJNSI)

Publication History

Submitted: August 04, 2023
Accepted: August 20, 2023
Published: September 01, 2023




Muhammad Rizwan, Junaid Zaheer, Muhammad Naveed Tahir, Muhammad Ansar & Hurairah Ejaz. Pakistan’s Wheat Production and the Effects of Climate Change. Dinkum Journal of Natural & Scientific Innovations, 2(09):514-526.


© 2023 DJNSI. All rights reserved

Pakistan’s Wheat Production and the Effects of Climate ChangeOriginal Article

Muhammad Rizwan 1*, Junaid Zaheer 2, Muhammad Naveed Tahir 3, Muhammad Ansar4, Hurairah Ejaz 5

  1. Agronomy Department, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; muhammadrizwan3101@gmail.com
  2. PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; R.Junaid540@gmail.com
  3. Associate Professor; Agronomy Department, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; naveed@uaar.edu.pk
  4. Chairman; Department of Agronomy, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; muhammad.ansar@uaar.edu.pk
  5. Agronomy Department, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Harri304@gmail.com

*             Correspondence: muhammadrizwan3101@gmail.com

Abstract: This study investigates the effects of climate change on Pakistan’s wheat output. A change in the atmosphere of Pakistan is recorded every year such as heavy floods, destructive rainfall, and rising temperature. This climate change effects the production of wheat in Pakistan. This study intends to investigate the effects of a wide range of variables, not just temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide, area under wheat cultivation, and water, on Pakistan’s wheat yield. A comprehensive literature review is given to understand the previous findings. For data collection and interpretation, the VAR model is used. The data from the Economic Survey of Pakistan is also included in this study. In the analysis, the results of the VAR model are particularized. The findings derived from the analysis of collected data indicate that as far, there exists no substantial adverse influence of Pakistan’s wheat production and climate change.

Keywords: wheat production, climate change, Pakistan


Wheat is any of several species of cereal grasses of the genus Triticum (family Poaceae), and their edible grains. Wheat is one of the oldest and most important of the cereal crops. Of the thousands of varieties known, the most important is common wheat (Triticum aestivum). The rapid expansion has necessitated the usage of fossil fuels to supply the increased demand for energy. However, burning fossil fuels results in the emission of gases that have a long-term impact on the planet’s climate and there is little doubt that several billion people rely on wheat as a significant portion of their diet on a global scale [1]. Since bread, noodles, and other products (such as bulgar, and couscous) may make up a sizable component of the diet in less developed nations, the nutritional significance of wheat proteins should not be understated.  Nearly 55% of the food’s carbs and 20% of its calories come from wheat. It has a sizable amount of carbs (78.10%), protein (14.70% of the total), fat (2.10%), and minerals (2.10%), as well as vitamins (thiamine and vitamin B), minerals (zinc), and fat. The majority of the protein, carbohydrates, iron, and numerous B-complex vitamins—including riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine—that are present in the entire kernel—are found in the endosperm. Approximately 1 gram of fiber per tablespoon can be found in wheat germ, which is likewise high in fiber. For people who are at risk for colon illness, heart disease, or diabetes, a diet high in fiber may be suggested since it can help regulate bowel function (i.e., reduce constipation) [2]. Wheat is Pakistan’s most significant food crop in terms of production and acreage. Wheat accounts for 37.1% of the agricultural land, 65% of the land used for food grains, and 70% of the output. For irrigation-based wheat farming, an average acre needs 20 to 21 inches of water. Due to its ideal geography, rich soil, and superior agricultural infrastructure, the Indus Plains have a significantly bigger area devoted to growing wheat. Spring wheat is raised as a Rabi crop in the Pakistani provinces of Sindh, Punjab, NWFP, and Baluchistan. Winter wheat is raised on a small scale in Baluchistan’s northern regions. 8.371 million hectares were used for cultivating wheat, and 18.90 million tons were produced between 1997 and 1980. Punjab (71.17%) and Sindh (13.38%) are the two provinces with the largest production areas. Punjab has a slightly higher yield per acre (2,316 kg) than Sindh (2,410 kg). In Punjab, irrigated land is primarily used to raise wheat. About 10% of wheat is produced in places that receive rain [3].  Pakistan’s major producer of wheat is Punjab, which accounts for around 71.17% of the nation’s total output. Punjab produced 19178.50 thousand tons of wheat in 2021–2022 alone. Approximately 13.38% of Pakistan’s total wheat production is produced in Sindh, the country’s second-largest producer. In Sindh, 3639,50 tons of wheat were produced in 2021–2022 alone. Approximately 8.22% of Pakistan’s total wheat production is produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, making it the third-largest producer in the country. In 2021–2022, 2207,60,000 tons of wheat were produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Approximately 3.23% of all wheat produced in Pakistan is produced in Baluchistan, the country’s fourth-largest wheat producer. 865.30 thousand tons of wheat were produced in Baluchistan in 2021–22. Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir contributed the remaining 3.98% of Pakistan’s total wheat production [4-5]. Climate change has emerged as a significant concern for wheat production in Pakistan. Understanding the possible effects of climate change on wheat production is essential because wheat is the nation’s main source of food [6]. Wheat is often planted in Pakistan in the fall, namely in the month of November. Wheat is grown on an estimated 90,450,000 ha in Pakistan, with a yield of 2,657 kg per hectare. In Pakistan, wheat is so vital to the country’s diet that the average person consumes 120 kilograms of it per year. With only 26 MAF (million-acre feet) available, Pakistan’s wheat farmers only have access to 78.4 percent of the water they need to grow their crops [7].  Pakistan’s environment generally supports the growth of wheat, with a chilly growing season and a warm ripening season. However, the nation is also vulnerable to droughts and floods, which can harm wheat yields. Additionally, Pakistan’s wheat harvest is in danger due to the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Wheat grows best in environments between 18 and 24 °C. Wheat yield can be negatively impacted by temperatures above 30°C. Due to its sensitivity to dryness, wheat needs an average of 500–600 mm of water per season. However excessive rain can also cause crops to lodge, which lowers output. For healthy growth and development, wheat needs a minimum of 12 hours of sunlight per day. Loamy, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5–7.5 are ideal for growing wheat.  The production of wheat in Pakistan is being threatened by the growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events like floods and droughts. These occurrences may cause wheat crops to fail and sustain damage. The average temperature in Pakistan is also rising as a result of climate change. Wheat yield could decrease as a result of this temperature rise [8]. Studies have shown that rising temperatures and changing water availability are key factors affecting wheat production. Research conducted in Pakistan has highlighted a decline in crop production, including wheat, rice, corn, and barley, attributed to climate change. The long-term effects of climatic factors on wheat production in different regions of the country have also been explored, revealing both negative and positive influences [9]. Rising temperatures and changing water availability have become a major concern for agronomists and farmers. Studies have shown a decline in crop production, including wheat, rice, corn, and barley, which can be attributed to climate change. The long-term effects of climatic factors on wheat production in different regions of the country have been explored, revealing both negative and positive influences [10]. For instance, while a rise in mean temperature in January and February enhances wheat productivity by 6.2 percent, overall, the impact of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan is predominantly negative. Many developing nations are particularly sensitive to climate change because of their geographical locations, making it an externality primarily driven by certain economic activity. Without action to reduce GHG emissions, the IPCC projects that greenhouse gas concentrations will rise from their present level of 550 parts per million to 700 parts per million by the middle of this century, leading to a three-degree Fahrenheit increase in global average temperature since the preindustrial period [11] Anthropogenic CO2 increases the concentration of greenhouse gases, which in turn increases the Earth’s average temperature. More frequent floods and droughts, food shortages, unfavorable weather conditions, the emergence of new illnesses, a rise in sea levels, and so on are all potential results of global warming. Anthropogenic activities, deforestation, and other factors all contribute to the rising atmospheric concentration of these GHGs. This concentration is projected to be three times higher by 2100 compared to pre-industrial times, leading to a 3-10 0C increase in temperature [12]. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) is seen as the main culprit in global warming, it has a beneficial effect on plants. In addition to improving air quality, carbon dioxide (CO2) also has two effects on plant life. For starters, it helps plants produce more oxygen through photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide fertilization describes this impact. Because greater CO2 levels boost the rate of fixed carbon and simultaneously reduce photorespiration, this impact is particularly pronounced in C3 plants. Higher temperatures accelerate the evapotranspiration process, creating moisture stress, which is catastrophic for wheat productivity, according to the Warrick study for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe [13]. Furthermore, it shortens the period of time during which the wheat crop develops, which, if it occurs during canopy formation, may have a major effect on yield losses. The process of verbalization and kernel development will take less time as a result. Wheat output increases in wetter conditions, but productivity drops under dry ones [14].Understanding the mechanisms by which climate change affects wheat production, such as through variations in temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather events, is necessary to achieve this. These elements may consist of the kind of wheat variety employed, the farming techniques applied, and the accessibility of water and other resources.  Projecting how various scenarios of climate change are expected to affect wheat output entails utilizing climate models.  This entails creating wheat breeds that are more tolerant to climate change, enhancing irrigation systems, and implementing other farming methods that can lessen the effects of climate change. It is a difficult and complex undertaking to examine how climate change may affect Pakistan’s wheat output, but doing so is crucial to comprehend the nation’s future food security. Pakistan should act to ensure that wheat production is sustainable and contributes to the nation’s food security by understanding the risks and possibilities provided by climate change. Pakistan should act to lessen the negative effects and guarantee that wheat production is sustainable in the face of climate change by studying how climate change affects wheat production.


One of the oldest crops grown in the world is wheat. Around 10,000 years ago, a region of the Middle East called the Fertile Crescent was where it was originally domesticated. From there, it expanded to other continents like Asia, Europe, and Africa. Following rice and maize as the world’s two most significant cereal crops, wheat is now in third place. Einkorn wheat, a wild grass, is regarded to be the source of wheat. Diploid, or having two sets of chromosomes, describes Einkorn wheat. Einkorn wheat evolved into more intricate wheat varieties as a result of hybridization with different wild grasses over time. Hexaploidy wheat, which possesses six sets of chromosomes, is currently the most widespread variety.  The world’s oldest kind of wheat is still produced in select regions. It is diploid wheat with little gluten. Triticum dicoccum, sometimes known as emmer wheat, is tetraploid wheat that resembles einkorn wheat. It is used to create bread and pasta and has more gluten than einkorn wheat. Hexaploid wheat with high gluten content is called durum wheat (Triticum durum). Semolina, couscous, and pasta are all made with it. The most popular variety of wheat is called common wheat (Triticum aestivum), and it is farmed all throughout the world. Cakes, spaghetti, bread, and other baked items are all made using it. For billions of people around the world, wheat is a basic diet. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and carbs. A good source of thiamin, niacin, and magnesium, among other vitamins and minerals, is wheat [15]. In Pakistan, wheat dominates all other crops in terms of acreage and production. Wheat accounts for 37.1% of the agricultural land, 65% of the land used for food grains, and 70% of the production. Wheat typically needs between 20 and 21 inches of water per acre to be grown. Pakistan’s wheat-growing season lasts from November to April. Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the main producing provinces of wheat. Pakistan produced a record 27.4 million tons of wheat in 2022–2023, up from 26.4 million tons the year before. This was caused by a variety of elements, including excellent weather, increasing fertilizer use, and improved agricultural techniques. Pakistan nevertheless continues to import a sizable quantity of wheat to satisfy domestic demand. Pakistan purchased 2.7 million tons of wheat, totaling nearly US$1 billion, in the fiscal year 2022–2023. Pakistan’s wheat production is expected to increase in 2023–2024. Pakistan is expected to produce 28 million tons of wheat and import 2 million tons, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Pakistan’s wheat situation is getting better. Wheat exports are rising while imports are falling [16]. There is still room for development, though. In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the government’s efforts to boost wheat output and decrease imports will be successful. Wheat is grown on an estimated 90,450,000 ha in Pakistan, with a yield of 2,657 kg per hectare [17]. In Pakistan, wheat is so vital to the country’s diet that the average person consumes 120 kilograms of it per year. With only 26 MAF (million-acre feet) available, Pakistan’s wheat farmers only have access to 78.4 percent of the water they need to grow their crops [18]. A study [19] looked into the hypothesis that C3 crop, particularly wheat, would enhance their water usage efficiency by transpiring less at increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Under these conditions, with a 2 CO2 concentration of 680 ppm, wheat output in mid- and high-latitude Europe and America would rise by 10% to 50%. While a rise of 2 degrees Celsius in temperature will reduce output by 3%-17%, this may be mitigated by increased precipitation. He determined that a movement of several hundred kilometers toward mid- and high-latitudes would occur for every degree Celsius rise in temperature [20]. Global food security is seriously threatened by climate change, and the wheat crop is especially susceptible to its effects. Wheat cultivars that can withstand heat, drought, and other climatic conditions are being created and released. Even in the face of shifting weather patterns, these types can assist farmers in maintaining yields. In order to gather information on soil conditions, crop health, and other parameters, precision agriculture makes use of a range of technologies, including satellite imaging, drones, and sensors. Making informed decisions about crop management, such as when to irrigate, apply fertilizer, or control pests, is possible with the use of this data. Water is a valuable resource, and it is growing harder and harder to find in many places of the world. Farmers may preserve water and increase agricultural yields by using technologies like drip irrigation and rainwater gathering. Crop rotation, biological pest control, and chemical pesticides are only a few of the approaches used in integrated pest management (IPM), a comprehensive approach to pest management. IPM can lessen the need for pesticides while also preserving the environment.  Data and technology are used in digital agriculture to enhance agricultural methods. This can involve the use of sensors to check soil moisture, drones to assess crops, and block chain to track the transportation of food. To maintain food security in the face of climate change, these technologies must be developed and put into use [21]. In-depth research and analysis have been done on how climate change may affect Pakistan’s ability to produce wheat. Rising temperatures and changing water availability have emerged as key factors affecting crop productivity. Numerous studies have shown a decline in the production of major crops, including wheat, rice, corn, and barley, due to climate change. The long-term effects of climatic factors on wheat production in different regions of Pakistan have been explored, revealing both negative and positive influences. While the negative impacts dominate, there are slight increases in wheat productivity during certain months due to higher temperatures. Overall, climate change poses significant challenges to wheat production in Pakistan, necessitating adaptation and mitigation strategies to ensure food security in the face of a changing climate [11]. Swat and Chitral, two places in Pakistan, are respectively 960m and 1500m above sea level., were studied by [22] to determine the influence of climate change. They looked at whether or not a 3 0C temperature increase would shorten the wheat growth season (GSL) in this county and reduce wheat output. Their findings indicated that the high height of the Chitral area would mitigate the detrimental effects of a rise in temperature, whereas the low altitude of the Swat district would amplify them. Chitral would benefit from a temperature increase of up to 1.5 0 C leading to a 14 percent increase in yield, whereas Swat’s production would decrease by 7 percent. Wheat yield in Swat would drop by 24% with a temperature increase of up to 30 C, whereas production in the Chitral district would rise by 23%. Because of the predicted rise in temperature, they proposed techniques for adapting to it in order to grow high-yielding cultivars in the warmer portions of the northern region of Pakistan [22].Researchers discovered that higher temperatures will boost crop yields for corn, sorghum, sunflower, and soybeans but have a detrimental effect on wheat and sugarcane. They reasoned that because of the high temperatures currently experienced in this region, any future warming caused by climate change would have a disturbing effect on wheat yields. To prevent potential yield loss brought on by higher temperatures, they advocated switching from wheat to heat-adapted crops like maize and sorghum [23]. Five wheat models tailored to European settings were evaluated. They decided that the models all agreed on the outcomes. Their findings suggested that rising temperatures would reduce wheat yields in Europe, whereas more precipitation and CO2 fertilization would boost output. For the period 2000-2070s, (Anwar et al. 2007) employed the South East Australian site of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) global atmospheric model under three climate change scenarios: low, medium, and high [21]. The average wheat yield was shown to have decreased by around 29 percent across all three scenarios; however, because of CO2’s beneficial effect, this decrease was just 25 percent. Carbon dioxide fertilization can compensate for a slight decrease in precipitation and an increase in temperature. They hypothesized that with improved agronomic practices and wheat varieties, crop productivity might be increased. The Central South area of Brazil was simulated till the year 2050 by [22]. They found that a one million metric ton loss in wheat production would occur if temperatures rose by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius and precipitation represented by 11 percent. They determined that the temperature at which wheat was being grown in Brazil was over the critical level and that future increases in temperature would lead to a drop in agricultural productivity overall and in wheat in particular. They also determined that most tropical nations that depend on agriculture will see production reductions. Using a comparable general equilibrium (CGE) model, [23] analyzed how climate change might affect China’s agricultural industry in the year 2080. According to their findings, the agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP fell by 1.3%. Slowing agricultural output leads to output losses by the year 2080, according to CGE simulation results, with the exception of wheat, which showed improved output due to a rise in global wheat demand. The modeling findings also suggested that agricultural productivity in China will fall less than the global average.  In order to learn more about how climate change may affect Southeast Asia’s economy, [24] conducted a study utilizing the CGE model. They claim that the effect is not uniform everywhere and that underdeveloped nations will suffer disproportionately high losses. Their modeling showed that between now and 2080, Southeast Asia’s GDP will fall by 1.4%. Crop production might decrease by up to 17.3 percent, with paddy rice farming declining by up to 16.5 percent and wheat farming decreasing by up to 36.3 percent. Increased reliance on imports of these agricultural items by Southeast Asian nations in the future would lead to greater welfare losses and a worsening of trade conditions in the area [25]. Numerous studies have investigated this subject to shed light on the potential consequences of a changing climate on wheat cultivation in the country. One of the major challenges that climate change poses for wheat production in Pakistan is the alteration of temperature and precipitation patterns. Rising temperatures can significantly affect the growth and development of wheat, potentially leading to reduced yield and quality. Additionally, changes in rainfall patterns and increased variability in precipitation can disrupt the optimal water availability for wheat crops, further affecting their productivity. Extreme weather events such as droughts and heatwaves, which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity under climate change, can cause severe damage to wheat crops in Pakistan. These events can result in reduced grain filling, stunted growth, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases, ultimately leading to decreased yields. Furthermore, climate change can influence the phenology of wheat, altering the timing of important growth stages such as flowering and ripening. This can have implications for the overall growth cycle and productivity of wheat crops in the country. In response to the challenges posed by climate change, agronomists and researchers in Pakistan have been exploring various adaptation strategies. These include developing and promoting heat-tolerant and drought-resistant wheat varieties, improving water management techniques, implementing precision agriculture practices, and adopting climate-smart agricultural practices. It is clear that major efforts are required to reduce the possible negative effects, even if research on the influence of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan is still ongoing. Collaboration between researchers, policymakers, and farmers is crucial to developing and implementing effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. To mitigate the adverse effects of global warming on wheat production in Pakistan, researchers and agronomists are exploring various adaptation strategies. These strategies include developing and promoting heat-tolerant and drought-resistant wheat varieties, improving water management techniques, adopting climate-smart agricultural practices, and optimizing irrigation systems. It is important to note that the information provided here is a general overview, and more in-depth research and analysis of the specific impacts of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan may be required for a comprehensive review paper [26].


3.1. The VAR Model:

Since (1980) created the vector autoregressive (VAR) model. According to Christopher Sim and Litterman, a VAR model is superior to a structural equation model when it comes to making predictions. Since we consider a number of endogenous variables in the VAR model, there is a superficial resemblance to simultaneous equation modeling. However, the lagged values of every endogenous variable in the model account for the current values of those variables. In most cases, the model does not include any independent variables. Sim built the VAR model on the idea that the exogenous and endogenous variables occur simultaneously. All of the model’s variables are assumed to be endogenous and to have some sort of mutual influence.

3.2. Data and Variables:

The Economic Survey of Pakistan, in its various iterations, is mined for information on the country’s wheat harvest. The wheat quantity is measured in tons. Due to its improved ability to use water by plants, carbon dioxide has a positive direct effect on wheat output. All emission projections are stated in SMT (thousand metric tons), and the pertinent information is collected from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center website. Wheat production is said to suffer in areas located near or in the tropics due to high temperatures. We use the centigrade scale to measure temperature. The Metrological Department of Pakistan provides the information. The likelihood of rain increasing wheat harvests is anticipated. The Metrological Department of Pakistan provides the data we need to determine rainfall. Rainfall is calculated in millimeters. Similar statistics may be found in the Economic Survey of Pakistan, which also covers topics including agricultural finance, wheat procurement price, fertilizer offtake, and technology.


4.1. Results from VAR Model:

The results of the VAR model estimation for the key variables of interest, including wheat production (Wheat), carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2), average temperature (temperature), average precipitation (Precip), and agricultural land used for wheat cultivation (Area), and water accessibility (Water), are shown in the table below.

Table 1 Estimation by using the VAR Model

Vector Estimates

 Sample: 2022

 Observations: 50 after Adjustments

  Area CO2 Precip Temp Water Wheat
Area(–1) 0.13 –0.53 0.01 –0.01 0.04 0.03
CO2(–1) –0.04 0.82 –0.01 –0.01 5.52 0.13
Precip(1) 14.38 –81.91 0.16 –0.02 0.07 16.29
Temp(1) 40.76 75.97 –0.62 0.61 0.13 265.63
Water(1) 10.96 98.01 0.16 –0.03 0.66 95.77
Wheat(1) 0.18 0.03 –0.01 0.06 0.05 0.18
C 2193.29 –1654.55 8.44 10.23 –3.07 –7210.40
 R-squared 0.90 0.99 0.18 0.89 0.98 0.97
Mean Dependent 0.88 0.99 0.07 0.87 0.98 0.97
 Sum sq. Resides 7034773 40969940 2366.70 40.86 362.56 38766060
 S.E. Equation 409.26 987.66 7.50 0.98 2.93 960.72
 Akaike AIC 63.37 1217.16 1.62 58.53 644.25 292.36
 Log Likelihood –360.45 –403.62 –164.52 –65.08 –118.56 –402.26
 F-statistic 14.99 16.76 7.00 2.94 5.12 16.70
 Schwarz SC 15.26 17.03 7.27 3.21 5.39 16.97
Adj. R-squared 7049.531 16314.98 35.9642 18.41485 103.8781 12514.45
 S.D. Dependent 1213.871 12217.37 7.791611 2.823207 26.50935 5877.001

The statistical significance of the t-statistics varies among the variables in our analysis. While some variables exhibit significant t-statistics, others do not. However, the higher value of the F-statistic shows that all of the lag factors in our model are statistically significant. The coefficient of determination (R2) values for our variables range from 0 to 1, reflecting the degree of model fit. The VAR model with a lag of 1 is chosen due to the lower values of the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and Schwarz Criterion (SC) compared to models with lags of 2, 3, and 4. Specifically, the AIC value of 16.70483 and SC value of 16.97509 for the lag 1 model indicate a higher level of parsimony. Hence, the VAR model with a lag of 1 is deemed more favorable for this investigation in comparison to other lag values.

4.2. Prediction of Wheat for 2030:

To estimate the projected value for wheat output in 2030 using the VAR approach with a lag of 1, the following computation is performed:

E (Wheat 2030) = –7210.404 + 0.186449 (wheat 2022) + 0.131691 (CO2 2022) + 265.6333 (Avg. Temp2022) + 16.29369 (Avg. Prep2022) + 95.77185 (Water 2022) + 0.028147 (Area 2022)

= –7210.404 + 0.186449 (24033) + 0.131691 (48174) + 265.6333 (22.6) + 16.29369 (39.2) + 95.77185 (142.9) + 0.028147 (9046)

= 24197.09

Based on our calculations, the projected wheat output for the year 2030 is expected to be 24197.09 thousand tons. However, the official government number obtained from the (Economic Survey, 2022) reports the actual wheat production in 2030 as 23864 thousand tons.

4.3. Research Questions: 

After the literature review, open-ended interviews of experts were conducted where they were asked to express their views freely on selected themes and subthemes to meet the objectives of the study. The questions and their responses are documented below:

  1. Does Global warming have an adverse effect on wheat production in Pakistan?

Yes, global warming has an adverse effect on wheat production in Pakistan. Rising temperatures and changing water availability, which are key aspects of global warming, have negatively impacted crop productivity, including wheat production. Global warming can have significant adverse effects on wheat production in Pakistan. Here is a detailed explanation of the potential impacts:

  • Rising temperatures: Global warming leads to higher average temperatures, which can negatively affect wheat crops. Wheat is a cool-season crop that thrives in moderate temperatures. As temperatures rise, it can result in heat stress for the plants during critical growth stages, such as flowering and grain filling. This can lead to reduced grain yield and quality, as well as a shorter growth period. Wheat harvests may be impacted by rising temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to global warming. Higher temperatures can lead to decreased yields, reduced grain quality, and shorter growth cycles.
  • Changing precipitation patterns: Global warming can disrupt traditional rainfall patterns, leading to changes in the timing and amount of rainfall in Pakistan. In some regions, this can result in water scarcity, where inadequate rainfall leaves the soil dry and affects the productivity of wheat crops. On the other hand, intense rainfall events and floods can also occur, causing waterlogging and soil erosion, which can be detrimental to wheat production. Changes in precipitation patterns can result in water scarcity or excess moisture, both of which can negatively impact wheat production. Additionally, extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, and heavy rainfall can cause crop damage and yield losses. Mitigation and adaptation strategies are being investigated to address the challenges posed by global warming on wheat production in Pakistan.
  • Extreme weather events: Global warming can increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in Pakistan, such as droughts, heat waves, and heavy rainfall. These events can cause direct damage to wheat crops, resulting in yield losses. Droughts can lead to reduced water availability, stunted growth, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases. Heat waves can negatively impact the physiological processes and grain development of wheat, further affecting the overall yield and quality. Heavy rainfall events can cause lodging, crop diseases, and post-harvest losses.
  • Water management challenges: Global warming can impose challenges in water management for irrigation. With changing precipitation patterns and increasing temperatures, the demand for water in agriculture may increase, while the availability of water resources may decrease. This can result in limited water availability for irrigation, affecting the growth and development of wheat crops.
  1. What are the observed and projected impacts of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan, and what are the potential adaptation strategies that can be implemented to mitigate these impacts?

Pakistan’s crop of wheat has experienced and will continue to experience major effects from climate change. There have been observed negative effects of climate change on Pakistan’s wheat production, including decreased crop productivity, notably as a result of rising temperatures and shifting water availability. Various parts of the country’s long-term impacts of climatic conditions on wheat production have been investigated, and both positive and negative effects have been found. While the negative impacts dominate, there are slight increases in wheat productivity during certain months due to higher temperatures. However, overall, climate change poses significant challenges to wheat production in Pakistan, threatening food security. The projected impacts of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan indicate a further decline in crop productivity and an increase in pest and disease pressures. To mitigate these impacts, potential adaptation strategies can be implemented. Developing heat-resistant crop varieties is crucial to ensure the resilience of wheat production in the face of rising temperatures. Additionally, implementing climate change adaptation policies for farmers, such as promoting the use of improved cultivars and increasing sowing density, can help mitigate the negative economic climate change effects on agricultural production. Other adaptation strategies include early sowing and irrigation, which have shown improvements in wheat biomass and yield, particularly in rainfed regions. It is important to prioritize and implement these adaptation strategies to ensure food security and livelihoods in Pakistan’s wheat production sector. Implementing climate change policies that promote sustainable agricultural practices and efficient water management is also crucial. Additionally, improving irrigation systems and investing in research and development for climate-smart agriculture can help ensure food security in the face of a changing climate.

III. What are the potential yield losses due to climate change?

According to a Pakistani study, climate change could result in significant yield losses for the production of wheat. It is expected that wheat output will decline by 2-19% when grown using irrigation. However, it is believed that the yield loss in rain fed conditions ranges from 9 to 30%, which is a significant increase. These yield losses are attributed to the effects of increasing global warming, changing rainfall patterns, and expanding water shortages. According to the region and crop, potential yield losses from climate change differ. The impact of climate change on Pakistan’s wheat production presents substantial difficulties that could result in decreased crop productivity. Studies show that wheat production could fall as a result of rising temperatures and shifting water availability. Higher temperatures may cause slight gains in wheat productivity during some months, but overall, the negative effects outweigh the positive ones. It is imperative to put adaptation methods into place in order to reduce negative effects and guarantee food security. These efforts include creating heat-resistant crop types, upgrading irrigation systems, and investing in climate-smart agriculture.


Pakistan’s ability to produce wheat is seriously threatened by climate change. The repercussions of climate change are already being felt in the nation, including more extreme weather events, altered precipitation patterns, and rising temperatures. Future predictions indicate that these effects will worsen and could result in major drops in wheat output.  The Pakistani government has made some efforts to address how climate change is affecting wheat production. These actions include funding research and development of crop types that are climate resilient, encouraging water-saving techniques, and assisting farmers in implementing climate-smart agricultural techniques. To support farmers’ adaptation to climate change and safeguard wheat output, additional work must be done. The vector autoregression (VAR) model is used in this study to evaluate the impact of climate change on wheat output in Pakistan. Data from the previous 50 years was used in the study. According to the conclusions drawn from the analysis of historical data, there hasn’t been a significant negative impact of climate change on Pakistan’s wheat production to date. The amount of land devoted to wheat farming and the effects of climate change, for example, will have a significant impact on the future production of wheat. The area of wheat cultivation and climatic change, respectively, account for 30% and 34% of the variance in wheat yield, according to the variance decomposition study. As a result, in the context of climate change, the availability of water and temperature play a critical role in deciding the future of wheat production. These elements have a direct impact on the development and growth of wheat harvests because they affect irrigation techniques and the length of the growing season, respectively, and water availability impacts both of these parameters. Furthermore, alterations in precipitation patterns and harsh weather might make the effects of climate change on wheat output even worse. Wheat is the primary staple grain cultivated in Pakistan. The nascent peril of climate change has the potential to impact the magnitude of wheat output in Pakistan. As a nation with a strong agricultural sector, it is imperative that we enhance our capacity to meet local consumption demands by expanding wheat output. The resulting excess may then be sold to international markets, therefore generating foreign cash. To effectively address the various developing hazards associated with climate change, the agricultural sector in Pakistan must implement appropriate adaptation techniques. These techniques may include the use of drought-resistant wheat varieties, improved irrigation systems, and better soil management practices. Additionally, investing in research and development for climate-smart agriculture can help identify innovative solutions to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on wheat production in Pakistan. The conclusion makes some recommendations for strategic actions. The irrigation system needs updating, as well as water management. Moreover, using cutting-edge technology like smart irrigation systems can greatly improve water efficiency and decrease waste. Additionally, encouraging awareness campaigns and offering incentives to farmers to adopt sustainable water practices can help to advance the management of water conservation. It is essential to create new types of wheat seeds and plants that have improved resistance to these environmental stressors in order to handle the challenges presented by hot and dry weather. Additionally, spending money on research and development to increase the effectiveness of water use in agriculture can considerably lessen the effects of drought and heat. A further way to achieve long-term resilience in the face of shifting climatic conditions is to develop regulations that support sustainable farming methods and inform farmers about the value of water conservation.  Wheat growing methods should be modified in response to the changing patterns of climate change. Farmers can adopt precision irrigation methods and drought-resistant crop types, for instance, to maximize water utilization. The development of novel solutions, such as smart farming technology that monitors soil moisture levels and offers real-time data for effective water management, is another benefit of research, farming, and policymaker cooperation. In order to protect wheat production and guarantee food security in the face of climate change, these preventive steps will be essential.


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Publication History

Submitted: August 04, 2023
Accepted: August 20, 2023
Published: September 01, 2023




Muhammad Rizwan, Junaid Zaheer, Muhammad Naveed Tahir, Muhammad Ansar & Hurairah Ejaz. Pakistan’s Wheat Production and the Effects of Climate Change. Dinkum Journal of Natural & Scientific Innovations, 2(09):514-526.


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