Islamabad August 26, 2021: The Government has been focusing on availability of certified seed and for the upcoming wheat season, around 530,000 metric tons would be available including 160,000 Tons rust-tolerant varieties says Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research.
Emphasizing on the improved productivity, the Minister shared that there is a need of paradigm shift in the yield of this crop as the country despite being 8th largest producer of wheat is still standing at 64th position in terms of productivity at the global level. Minister said that small holders will only be able to grow wheat if the quality inputs are timely available and in the range of farmer’s access.
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He said this while chairing a meeting of the Agriculture Policy Institute (API) Committee on Wheat 2021-22 Crop here in Islamabad on 26th August, 2021. Representatives of wheat growers, Provincial Agriculture Departmentss., ZTBL and senior officials of NFS&R attended the meeting.
Fakhar keen on announcing MSP well before the start of sowing season. He said that government’s enhancement of MSP from PKR 1400 to PKR 1800 produced a good result which helped the country in harvesting the highest crop (27.5 million tons). A number of factors helped in achieving this historic production including favorable weather conditions, availability of certified seed (513,000 Ton), availability of fertilizers and irrigation water, etc.
Fakhar Imam said that the trend of increasing prices of DAP fertilizer (ranging between PKR 6500 to PKR 7500) is a serious concern for the government. He said that the government will ensure availability of fertilizer on accessible prices particularly to the small growers. Federal Minister stressed on establishing linkages between the scientists and farmers mainly to minimize the gap between the results of research farm with that of the actual field. He said that we have one of the best basins in the world but still not able to feed our populations at the global standards of nutritional requirements.
Mr. Abdul Karim, Director General API presented economic analysis based on various key factors of the crop such as short and long term growth trends in area, yield and production, the cost of production estimates, import parity prices, average market price in the post-harvest season, trends in regional MSPs during the last 10 years, estimates of domestic requirements of wheat, world balance sheet and other important economic aspects of the crop.
Fakhar Imam said that the government wishes to formulate a policy where every stakeholder is heard and all concerns are addressed. He said that an informed policy will be made before the sowing season to enhance wheat productivity and overall production. Syed Nadem Shah, President Sindh Abadgar Board highlighted, Mr. Rizwanullah, President Kissan Board KP, Rana Iftikhar Ahmed, President Anjuman e Kashtkaran, Punjab and Mr. Abdul Jalil, Chief NFDC were also present.