Wheat production misses target by one million tonnes

Post Source: Daily Times By Ijaz Kakakhel

ISLAMABAD: The tall claims of various ministries including Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Planning Commission of getting at least 25 million tonnes wheat production proved false and the actual wheat production remained 24 million tonnes for 2009-10, official figure obtained by Daily Times revealed here on Monday.

The ministers of MinFA and Planning Commission claimed the government would get bumper crop of wheat (25 million tonnes) for 2009-10. However, the actual figures of the crop remained behind the actual production target by one million tonnes. For achieving the 25 million tonnes wheat target, the government had set the commodity to be sowed over 8.61 million hectors areas. The government also announced wheat support prices Rs 950/40 kg before the sowing of crop on September 29, 2008. This was complemented with other support measures like setting a higher wheat procurement target by the public sector and extending fertilizer subsidy to the tune of Rs 32 billion. The government capped the DAP fertilizer prices at Rs 3050 per 50 kg bag by providing a subsidy of Rs 2200 per bag.

Initially the government had fixed the wheat procurement target at 6.5 million tonnes for the 2009-10 however, to accommodate the small farmers, the government increased the wheat procurement target to 8 million tonnes. After taking notice of non-provision of guaranteed price by the private sector, the government has again revised its procurement target at 10 million tonnes but the actual the government procured 9.232. Further classification of the procured wheat were as Punjab 5.782 million tonnes, Sindh 1.216 million tonnes, NWFP 0.090 million tonnes and Passco 2.143 million tonnes.

Officials in the ministry of food and agriculture told Daily Times that official storage capacity of the country was just 3.5 million tonnes and to bridge the gap, the government had approved Rs 27 billion to establish wheat storages across the country.

Following severe wheat crises last year, the government has decided to keep one million tonnes wheat as strategic reserve. Accordingly, the PASSCO has to maintain 0.5 million tonnes, Punjab 0.3 million tonnes, Sindh 0.1 million tonnes, NWFP 70,000 million tonnes and Balochistan has to maintain 30,000 million tonnes wheat as strategic reserves for the year 2009-10. Officials in MinFA said that the federal Cabinet had already approved export of 0.2 million tonnes of by-products of wheat to kick start utilizing its extra reserves with the estimation that the government would be able to get 2 million tonnes wheat extra production from its domestic requirement. But actually only one million tonnes wheat production was remained surplus with the government this year.

The official claimed that the Pakistani wheat and its products have great demand in Afghanistan and Gulf states. At present government had banned export of wheat (flour) to Afghanistan and wheat products to Gulf states.

Earlier, the MinFA had sent the proposal for allowing export of wheat and its products to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet but it was rejected. At present, the official said, government had imposed the 35 percent regulatory duty on export of wheat and its products.

According to the official figures, the average price of wheat flour across the country (35 cities) 28.58 per kg during the month of September 2009. In Punjab the price the flour price remained as 27.49/kg, Sindh (7 Cities) Rs 30.14 /kg, NWFP (6 cities) Rs 28.54/kg, Balochistan (4 cities) Rs 28.13/kg and AJ&K Rs 32.50 per kg.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jimmy Dee on February 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    ‘According to the official figures, the average price of wheat flour across the country (35 cities) 28.58 per kg during the month of September 2009. In Punjab the price the flour price remained as 27.49/kg, Sindh (7 Cities) Rs 30.14 /kg, NWFP (6 cities) Rs 28.54/kg, Balochistan (4 cities) Rs 28.13/kg and AJ&K Rs 32.50 per kg.’

    Check out these figures out of interest. Just email them asking for their regular report.

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