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November 26, 2019

Decline in wheat sowing feared in Punjab


November 26, 2019

MULTAN: The decline in wheat sowing is feared in Punjab districts after the government’s announcement of wheat support price at Rs 1,350 per maund, The News has learnt.

Kisan Committee president Malik Iqbal said that the government policies were forcing the farmers to shift from wheat to vegetable crops, fearing a considerable decline in wheat sowing. He said that the wheat support price was very less as compared to the rising prices of inputs.

A senior official at the Punjab Agriculture Directorate told The News that the federal government might increase the wheat support price from Rs 1,350 to Rs 1,400 per maund for the crop season 2019/20 after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf legislators having agricultural background mounted pressure on the government for increasing the support price.

Earlier, an Economic Coordination Committee meeting chaired by PM’s Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh two weeks ago had fixed the wheat support price at Rs 1,350 per maund. However, all the farmers’ bodies were demanding the government fix the wheat supports price at Rs 1,600 per maund.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Agriculture Department has revised the wheat sowing target from 16.2 million acres to 19.5 million acres. Six Punjab divisions have lion’s share in wheat sowing. Rawalpindi division has been allocated 1,098,000 acres sowing target, Sargodha division 1,497,000 acres, Faisalabad division 2,039,000 acres, Gujranwala division 2,539,000 acres, Lahore division 1,361,000 acres and Sahiwal division 1,105,000 acres. Three divisions - Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan - in south Punjab have been allocated 6,571,000 acres wheat sowing target.

Multan division has been allocated wheat sowing target at 1,968,000 acres, Bahawalpur division 712,000 acres and Dera Ghazi Khan division 2,19,6000 acres. The production target for Bahawalpur division has been fixed at 3,257,000 tons, Faisalabad division 2,748,000 tons, Dera Ghazi Khan division 2,742,000 tons, Multan division 2,675,000 tons, Gujranwala division 2,668,000 tons, Lahore division 1,768,000 tons, Sahiwal division 1,585,000 tons, Sargodha division 1,459,000 tons and Rawalpindi division 758,000 tons. The Agriculture Department has advised the farmers to complete wheat sowing by November 30 to get maximum production. The cultivation after November 30 will cause less production and the farmers will have to use more wheat seeds.

Punjab Agriculture Information Assistant Director Naveed Asmat Kahloon said that the farmers should use 40 to 50 kilogram wheat seeds in an acre. He asked the farmers to sow recommended seeds only which were available with the Punjab Seeds Corporation. He said that if the farmers would sow wheat during December then they would have to utilise more seeds, which were nearly 60 kilogram per acre. The farmers could contact the Agriculture Department officials for consultancy to get the pumper crop of wheat, he added.

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