MULTAN: Wheat production in Punjab could be lower than expected this year, largely due to climate conditions, said Special Secretary Agriculture Gulzar Hussain Shah. However, the situation would benefit farmers as they can sell wheat at a support price of Rs1,300 per maund. Agriculture spokesman Naveed Asmat Kahlon attributed the lower than expected wheat yield to weather-related factors including low temperature in March, rains and hailstorms in different parts of Punjab as well as dust storms that cause wheat-crop lodging. The spokesman said that Punjab produced 19.7 million ton of wheat in 2013-14 from 17 million acres of land at an average per acre yield of 31.01 maunds when support price was Rs1,200 per maund. For 2014-15, the sowing target was set at 16.5 million acres with production of 19.5 million tons but officials who monitored the on-going harvest suggested that the production could be less than estimated.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2015.
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