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$129mln saved on import substitutes on pulses

Business

October 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has saved $129 million of foreign exchange by increasing production of import substitutes to pulses during the year, food security ministry said on Friday.

The country produced more pulses – moong and gram – this year as compared to last year, according to the food security ministry.

The country produced 76,000 and 53,000 tons more moong and gram, respectively as compared to last year, as confirmed by provincial crop reporting departments in the federal committee on agriculture meeting.

Imports of pulses stood at more than $614 million during the last fiscal year of 2019/20, up around 21.5 percent year-over-year. Cumulatively, food imports stood at $5.4 billion compared to $5.7 billion a year earlier, down 4.3 percent year-over-year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The ministry said record production of rice in the history was reported during the year, which was 8.2 million tons from an area of 3.3 million hectare, showing an increase of 10.4 percent.

It is also estimated that export of rice will be increased as 780,000 tons produced more rice as compared to the previous year.

The production of sugarcane also increased significantly as compared to last year which was 13.7 percent.

The food ministry expected the country to be able to export sugar rather than import next year. The production of maize is also satisfactory and maize will also remain in the export scenario with the fulfillment of domestic requirements on reasonable prices.

“During the year, nature will remain in favour of agro-economy,” the ministry said in a statement. “We are planting the seeds of new agro-economy and we fix the wheat target of 27 million tons in the next year.

Pakistan is expected to produce 25.2 million tons of wheat this year with shortfall estimated at 1.6 million tons.