Senate body recommends wheat support price at Rs1400 per 40 kg
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research has recommended fixing minimum wheat support price at Rs1400 per 40 kg for ensuring a better return to local farmers and encouraging them to grow additional wheat to cater to its increasing demand.
The committee, which met with Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah in the chair, observed that wheat prices in local markets were at the lowest level as compared to other markets of the region, besides other crops including oil seeds which had been providing more returns than the wheat.
Speaking on the occasion, Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain said that local wheat requirements would reach 36 million tons from 26 million tons by 2028, adding local farmers ought to be encouraged to grow additional wheat, despite switching over to other cash crops, to tackle the demand.
The committee was informed that about 2.353 million tons of wheat was available which was more than sufficient to cater to the local requirements.
It was also informed that looking into the carry-forward stocks of about one million tons, to be available by the arrival of new crop in the markets, it was decided that wheat will not be imported.
Briefing the meeting, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr Hashim Popalzai said that the wheat crisis, that had emerged due to demand and supply gap, was fully under control and prices of commodity had witnessed a declining trend in local markets.
It was informed that till date, Punjab had 1.407 million tons of wheat, Sindh 0.278 million tons, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.129 million tons and Balochistan 0.00304 million tons of grains to fulfill the domestic requirements, adding that Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supplies Corporation has 0,536 million tons of wheat. It was also informed that 8.25 million tons of wheat to be procured during the current season, would require an amount of Rs277.119 billion in order to keep the strategic reserves of staple food grains and tackle the local consumption issues during the season.
The Secretaries of Food Departments of Punjab and Sindh apprised the meeting about the arrangements of wheat procurements and facilitate the growers to sell their produces on official fixed rates.
It was informed that what procurements in Sindh will be started by March 15 and in Punjab it would commence from April and all the necessary measures had also been finalized. – APP