Govt to set wheat support price before sowing

Seeks to maximise area under cultivation, ensure proper price for farmers


APP October 26, 2021
Ministry of Commerce told the committee that TCP had imported 100,000 tons of wheat while Passco imported 460,000 tons. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The government would announce the minimum support price of wheat for the 2021-22 crop season in order to maximise the area under cultivation and ensure payment of proper rates to farmers, said National Food Security Commissioner Imtiaz Ali Gopang.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research would submit a proposal for fixing the minimum wheat support price in the upcoming meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet for approval, Gopang revealed while talking to APP on Monday.

The commissioner said that the move would encourage farmers to utilise maximum area under wheat cultivation, in order to tackle the increasing demand for the staple food grain along with limiting imports to narrow the surging trade deficit.

He was of the view that the government intended to finalise the minimum support price of wheat before the start of sowing season to ensure a proper rate of return to the farmers.

He revealed that around 638,000 tons of high-yielding, certified seeds of different varieties would be provided to the farmers at subsidised rates to achieve higher output during the season. The quantity of certified seeds last year stood at 300,000 tons, he recalled, adding that it was later enhanced under the track and trace policy.

“The government is determined to ensure 100% availability of certified seeds to enhance per-acre crop production,” he said.

In addition, the government was providing a Rs8 billion subsidy on di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser to achieve maximum output of the crop, he said.

The government was also ensuring proper supply of gas to urea manufacturers for producing sufficient quantities of fertilisers during the season, he added. Moreover, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) had also issued tenders for the import of around 100,000 tons of urea to augment the domestic stocks and ensure its sufficient supply during the season, the commissioner highlighted.

It is pertinent to mention that the Federal Committee on Agriculture has set the wheat production target at 28.9 million tons over an area of 9.2 million hectares.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2021.

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