Availability of surplus wheat drives decision, Punjab to contribute 19.5m tons
ISLAMABAD: The government has kept the wheat production target unchanged at 26 million tons for 2015-16, a decision driven by the surplus stock available with the provinces.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the federal committee on agriculture in Islamabad with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan in the chair.
Following the meeting, the minister said the production target has been set at 26 million tons to be cultivated over an area of 8.980 million hectares. Bosan said stakeholders are facing difficulties amid the presence of surplus wheat, a situation made worse by depressed prices in the international market.
A provincial breakdown revealed that Punjab’s target has been set at 19.5 million tons, Sindh 4.2 million tons, Khyber-Pakhtukhwa 1.4 million tons and Balochistan 0.9 million tons, he said.
Bosan stressed that the country has 8.695 million tons of wheat in surplus, which has increased from 6.951 million the previous year.
He said the certified wheat seed availability would be 26.1% of the total requirement in 2015-16 while during 2014-15 the total seed availability was 34.6%.
The committee was informed that irrigation water availability for the current Rabi season was estimated at 25.27 million acres feet (maf) as against the average usage of 23.67 maf for the season, he said.
He said provincial representatives have emphasised that adequate supply of urea and phosphate fertilisers during December and January would be crucial for achieving the target.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2015.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.