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Government to decide wheat support price by next week

Business

October 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government will decide wheat support price by next week, food security minister said on Thursday, indicating an end of its indecisiveness over the issue.

Food Security Minister Fakhr Imam said the country is in dire need of increasing wheat production.

“Acquisition of modern agricultural technology, supply of better seeds, and balanced use of fertilisers can achieve higher yields,” Imam said during a meeting of the Federal Committee Agriculture.

The government was recommended to increase wheat support price from Rs1,400 per 40 kilograms to encourage its production. Despite the government’s efforts to control the rising inflation and ensure the availability of the essential items in the country, the price of wheat touched a historic high of Rs2,400 per 40kg earlier this month for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

The government was proposed to raise wheat support price by Rs345 from the existing Rs1,400/maund. Sindh didn’t propose any price, while Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa want it at Rs1,650, Rs1,800 and 1,745/maund, respectively.

The minister said the country’s livestock sector is better. The production is better in paddy and sugarcane. While cotton production is declining due to ball warm and white fly. Now Punjab Seed Corporation gives only 3 to 5 percent seeds.

The meeting was informed the area under sugarcane cultivation in Punjab increased 21 percent as compared to last year. Sugarcane area in Sindh increased 0.96 percent. Sugarcane area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decreased 0.8 percent. Sugarcane area under cultivation in Balochistan increased 3.37 percent.

Sugarcane production in Punjab increased 21.2 percent. Sugarcane production in Sindh increased 0.6 percent. Sugarcane production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa increased 0.14 percent and sugarcane production in Balochistan increased 10 percent.

The area under rice in Sindh decreased. The area under rice in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa increased 0.25 percent and the area under rice in Balochistan increased 1.8 percent. Rice production in Punjab increased 20.3 percent as compared to last year. Rice production in Sindh decreased 3.2 percent. Rice production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa increased 1 percent and rice production in Balochistan increased 2 percent. In addition, the area under Moong pulse cultivation in Pakistan increased 23 percent over the previous year. Peanut production increased 57 percent.

Secretary for Food Security Omar Hamid said the purpose of the meeting is to formulate a strategy for the production target for rabi crops. “The responsibility of food security during this crisis lies with the federation and the provinces,” said Hamid. “Crop reporting services have data. Statistics should be recorded. A dashboard will be set up for data. Agro zoning laws will be amended in collaboration with the provinces. We need resistant seeds.”