ISLAMABAD – Abundant wheat stocks of 4.336 million tonnes are available to meet domestic needs, in addition to maintaining steady demand, supplying local markets and ensuring the supply of flour and other by-products at sustainable rates across the country.
National wheat stocks in the first week of last year (2021) were recorded at around 3.188 million tonnes with carryover stocks of 731,033 metric tonnes, said Food Security Commissioner Dr. Imtiaz Ali Gopang. Speaking to APP here, he said the public stock was sufficient to meet the civic requirement of 108 release days or 4.34 months until May 20, 2022. He said that as of January 10, 2022, about 2,860,081 metric tons of wheat had been released in mills. to ensure the supply of flour at sustainable prices in local markets.
The Food Security Commissioner further informed that Punjab province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa started their releases from September 24, 2021, while Sindh province started their mill releases from October 17, 2021.
Meanwhile, 1,356,617 metric tons of imported wheat have also arrived, which would help increase local wheat stocks and discourage any possibility of storage and profit in the country, he added. Furthermore, he said wheat plantings in the current season have also seen positive growth as the government announced a minimum support price well in time, adding that the planting targets set for the season have been met at 97%. Of the set target of 23.327 million acres, wheat planting was completed on 22.766 million, which was recorded at 22.716 million acres during the same period last year.
He informed that Punjab province has voluntarily increased its target to 16.779 million acres from the assigned seeding target of 16.210 million acres, adding that with this increase, the overall seeding target of wheat was increased to 23.327 million acres from the previous target of 22.758 million. acres as determined at the meeting of the Federal Agriculture Committee.
According to provincial crop information services, wheat planting was still underway in many rainfed areas and is expected to further boost overall planting figures, adding that Punjab has completed cultivation of crops on 100% of the area. fixed for the current season. However, other provinces including Sindh had completed wheat cultivation at over 97.81%, KP at 87.01% and Balochistan at over 84.77%.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali, said on Saturday that the council was making coordinated efforts at national and provincial levels, in addition to strengthening its ties with development partners. international and development agencies to bring the local agricultural sector to the same level as international markets. standards to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and economic development of the country. He said that research-based solutions and technological advancements are inevitable to overcome the challenges facing the national agricultural sector to maintain food safety and security, in addition to achieving long-term sustainable economic growth and social prosperity in the country.
Speaking to the National Agricultural Research Center media, he said climate change was the biggest challenge for the agriculture and livestock sectors in the country, adding that the unsustainable use of natural resources , high cost of inputs, rapid urbanization and high population growth were among other looming problems. He said to overcome all these problems and challenges, a national agricultural research system has been developed to provide research-based solutions to farming communities based on their ecological needs, adding that areas have also been identified for production. of high-value crops and maximization of agricultural exploitation. Income.
Under the scheme, he said large areas have been identified in four provinces including northern regions and Azad Kashmir for the production of high value crops including oilseeds, citrus fruits and nuts, adding that the implementation of the initiative would help promote the production of high-value crops. compared to conventional crop production. Dr Ali said PARC has also started working on new technologies to develop new high yielding seed varieties of major and minor crops to improve the yield per acre to meet the growing demand for food as well. only for export to develop. the economy on sound footing.
So far, PARC had developed more than 65 varieties of different major and minor crops, including the development of 08 hybrids of different crops and disseminated among growers, he said, adding that due to these efforts, Pakistan was now producing a surplus of major crops such as wheat, rice, sugar cane and maize.
PARC is also introducing four new varieties of long grain and extra long grain rice seeds to improve agricultural production per acre and farm incomes, especially the incomes of small and medium-sized farmers, he said, adding that the development new truths would help produce about 80 to 120 maunds of rice per acre compared to conventional truths, which provided 40 to 50 maunds per acre. These high yielding seed varieties were grown at three different sites based on trials and trails and early results from uniform yield trails showed encouraging trends as in some locations production exceeded 105 mounds per acre, he added.