The farming community will start harvesting wheat crops in different parts of Haripur this week, amid widespread fears of missing yield targets. Harvesting usually starts in Haripur in the second week of May, but owing to the early maturity of wheat plants in un-irrigated areas, farmers have been forced to act quickly.
In some areas, farmers have already started cutting their crops.
According to official sources, the dry spell and dew factor during the early days of sowing nearly destroyed the crops. “Haripur will achieve hardly 50% of the target yield set for 2012”, said Syed Sadiq Hussain Shah, executive district officer agriculture, while talking to The Express Tribune. He said that due to early ripening of the crops, farmers were going to initiate the harvest from April 22. He expressed the fear that a hike in the rates of dry fodder (bhoosa) was also imminent, as the size of plants in the crop was smaller as compared to last year. However, he said that the wheat targets in irrigated areas will be met, as crop was unaffected there.
This year, growers cultivated wheat on a total of 37,761 hectares of land; including 32,631 hectares non-irrigated and 5,130 irrigated land in Haripur. Estimates for the wheat yield set by agriculture authorities predicted 67,321 tons total produce; which included 51,776 tons from the un-irrigated area, and 15,545 from irrigated areas of the two sub divisions of district.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.