78% wheat sowing target achieved

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December 03, 2021 (MLN): The country has successfully achieved wheat sowing target of around 78% during the ongoing Rabi season, said Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) Syed Fakhar Imam while chairing a review meeting on crop position for FY21.

MNFSR in a press release informed that wheat sowing in Punjab stood at 95% against a target of 16.2 million acres. Provincial Minister of Punjab for Agriculture while briefing the meeting said that wheat sowing in Punjab will surpass the targets. He further added that the provincial government working on improving its track and trace system for seeds but water availability is an ongoing limiting factor.

Meanwhile, provincial ministers from other provinces informed the meeting that wheat sowing in Sindh stands at 76% vs. the assigned target of 2.97m acres; KPK stands at 75% vs. the assigned target of 2.2m acres.

Similarly, Balochistan stands at 68% of the assigned target area which is 1.36m acres.

Fakhar said that a few parameters have been established to ensure wheat sowing is monitored effectively. He said these parameters include sowing area, achievement of targets, sowing method (drilling or broadcasting), the quantum of fertilizer used during sowing practices (DAP and Urea), fertilizer offtake, certified seeds used, seed varieties used during sowing (old or new rust tolerant wheat varieties), availability status of herbicides and fertilizer availability and pricing status etc.

Representative of Pakistan Meteorological Department Mr. Syed Mushtaq apprised the committee that lower than normal rainfall is expected in the month of December and January.

The country’s wheat production has gradually improved over the last few years to 24.946m tons on the back of improved per acre yields.

However, despite producing ample wheat, the country is forced to import wheat due to poor storage infrastructure and hoarding and the prevalence of hoarding practices.

The country has so fat imported 731,751MT of un-milled wheat into the country during FY22 in order to meet local demand and keep prices in check.

The government is actively involved in wheat management across the country and assigns procurement targets for provinces each fiscal year.

Indian wheat exports to Afghanistan allowed

In a separate press release, the government has decided to allow the export of 50,000MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via the Wagah border in view of the ongoing food shortages in the country.

The government has decided that it will allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from the Wagah border to Torkham.

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