Islamabad, May 06, 2022 (PPI-OT):Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Punjab Government to enhance its target for wheat procurement and instructed the Food Security Division to timely import the commodity, if need arises, to meet any shortfall. He gave these instructions, while chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Friday, regarding wheat production, existing reserves, and its consumption at the provincial and the national level.
The Prime Minister also issued directions for curbing smuggling of wheat, evolving a comprehensive strategy to check theft of the commodity and corruption. He also directed to present a strategy for the construction of silos to store wheat.
He said the construction of silos will help eliminate corruption and theft of wheat. He said a fertilizer crisis was created at the time of wheat cultivation due to criminal negligence, bad governance and irresponsibility, which caused losses to farmers and the country. Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan is an agrarian country and wrong decisions and lack of timely strategy have made it a net importer of wheat.
The Prime Minister said delayed announcement of the wheat support price led to reduction in cultivation of the crop in an attempt to directly benefit hoarders. He expressed the resolve to make Pakistan self-sufficient in wheat production through better strategy.
The meeting was given detailed briefing about this year’s production of wheat in the country. It was told that the target set for current year was 28.89 metric tons of wheat, but the production is likely to remain 26.173 metric tons. The overall consumption of wheat is estimated at 30.79 metric tons in the country. It was told that reduction in wheat cultivation area, shortage of water, and fertilizer crisis, occurred due to maladministration of the last government, are the main reasons behind the gap between the target and expected production of the wheat.
Besides, a tendency of 2 percent reduction in cultivation of wheat was witnessed among farmers due to delayed announcement of the support price. Additionally, increase in oil prices and climate changes like early rise in temperature also obstructed the achievement of the set target for wheat production.
Regarding wheat procurement target at the government level, the meeting was apprised that Punjab has achieved 91.66 percent, Sindh 49.68 percent, and Balochistan 15.29 percent, while PASSCO has hundred percent of its objective.
The Prime Minister was also briefed about public relief measures by the sitting government, which include provision of subsidized wheat to flour mills, availability of 10 kilogrammes of wheat flour bag at 400 rupees, supply of flour through Utility Stores in Balochistan and two metric tons of wheat to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Prime Minister directed to identify wheat consumption of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in consultation with the provincial government to ensure supply of the required amount of the commodity.
For more information, contact:
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan