Punjab Seeks 1 Million Tonnes of Wheat from PASSCO to Reinforce Stock

The government of Punjab is set to seek at least 1 million tonnes of wheat from Pakistan Agricultural Storages and Services Corporation (PASSCO) to reinforce its grain stock and prevent an expected shortage early next year, reported Dawn.

The province has opened its wheat account with a stock of 5.2 million tonnes for the crop year 2022-23 with a total procurement of 4.5 million tonnes of wheat in the last season ended in May. The carryover stock of wheat was 0.7 million tonnes. The province, on average consumes 0.5 million tonnes of wheat per month and requires at least 6.0 million tonnes to fulfill the yearly demand.

During June, July, August, and September of each crop year, the mills in the province grind wheat that they have purchased directly. However, from October to March, the government supplies grain from its storage to maintain the availability of flour in the market.

Punjab Food Director Shozeb Saeed told the press that due to the government’s decision of providing subsidized flour to consumers throughout the year, the authorities had to release wheat to flour mills in June, four months earlier than the usual practice.

He said that the government had approached PASSCO on 18 June 2022 requesting the corporation to supply the province with 1 million tonnes of wheat to fulfill the extra demand. The letter written to PASSCO has been approved by the Prime Minister and the Punjab Chief Minister.

Punjab Food Director said that obtaining wheat from PASSCO was more efficient and effective rather than importing expensive wheat for Punjab. The official further said that they were waiting for a response from PASSCO to evaluate its offer and limitations regarding the supply of wheat.

Published by
Aqib Rauf Abbasi