The government has been warned of a major shortfall in wheat production this year. The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) was informed that as compared to the last year, Pakistan is most likely to miss the wheat production target by 1.4 million tonnes this year.
The committee that met to review the Khareef season was apprised of the decrease in yield this year. The development will worsen the ongoing flour crisis in the country in the coming months.
The wheat production target for this year was set at 27 million tonnes. However, with a few months left in harvesting, the procurement target has only been achieved by almost 80 percent, with a shortfall of 1.4 million tonnes.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, was unhappy over the development, stressing for the need to increase the wheat production through genetic engineering.
Our country has the best irrigation system which is not being used properly. Wheat is grown in 36% of the country’s cultivated area.
The meeting, however, was informed about the increased production of chickpeas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Food Security Commissioner, Dr. Waseem, told participants that after many years, the country had exceeded the chickpea production target at 540,000 tonnes.
This year, there will be saving of Rs. 87 million as there will be less chickpea import.
He also highlighted a slight increase in potato production, which increased to 4.43 million tonnes against the target of 4.4 million tonnes last year.
Moreover, Balochistan recorded a bumper crop of tomato this year.
The food security minister emphasized on the need to increase the production of oilseeds, as the country is smoking millions of dollars annually in import bills on edible oil.
The representative of the Indus River System Authority said that this year there will be 9 percent more water available for the Khareef season.
Meanwhile, the representative of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) warned that the Potohar and Kashmir region will receive excessive rainfall in the next three months that could devastate the crops.