Pakistan sets wheat production target at 25 million tons for 2013-2014 marketing year, compared with target of 25.2 million tons in year-ago period, asks provinces to complete wheat sowing by end of November

ISLAMABAD , November 14, 2013 () – The Federal Committee on Agriculture set on Monday wheat production target for 2013-14 at 25 million tons and asked provinces to complete wheat sowing by the end of November.

In 2012-13, the country had produced 24.2m tons of wheat against the target of 25.5m tons, missing the target by 5.1 per cent.

The FCA at its meeting reviewed availability of farm inputs, including seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, water and agriculture credit. It set a target of wheat cultivation on 8.89m hectares.

The meting fixed the target of gram production at 0.760m tons and that of onion at 1.9m tons.

Representatives of provincial agriculture departments said that wheat production target can not be achieved without an adequate supply of urea and phosphate fertilisers in December and January. The committee, which met for the first time in three years after the introduction of the 18th Amendment to the constitution, expressed the hope that the expected above-normal rains and snowfall during the Rabi season would help meet water needs for the crops.

Presided over by the Secretary of National Food Security and Research, Seerat Asghar Jaura, the meeting directed the relevant federal and provincial departments to ensure availability of certified seeds, agricultural credits and pesticides, particularly herbicides.

The meeting was informed that sugarcane production in 2013-14 was estimated at 62.8m tons and the rice production at around 5.99m tons.

It was told that the availability of 31.214 million acres feet (MAF) of water was estimated for the season against the average use of 36.386 MAF. Water shortage from Indus basin system was reported at 14pc.

But higher water levels in reservoirs were reported as compared to last year and the Met department was optimistic about better prospects of rains in upper parts of the country, the meeting was told.

The representative of State Bank said that allocation of institutional credit for the agriculture sector had risen to Rs360 billion for 2013-14 from last year's allocation of Rs336bn.

The committee was happy to note that supply of pesticides/herbicides for the season was satisfactory.

The secretary said that devolution of ministry of food and agriculture was adversely affecting the agricultural sector and rural economy. Over the past five years, growth rate of the sector had stagnated at 2.5pc which is lowest in history.

After the devolution of the ministry and announcement of the seventh NFC award, provinces were supposed to invest in the sector but it had been ignored both at federal and provincial levels as was reflected in the budget estimates of the provinces, he said.

With the devolution of the ministry, he pointed out, the federal government had lost international coordination and cooperation while linkages with the national agricultural system had weakened. Those circumstances had led to the establishment of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, he added Published by HT Syndication with permission from Right Vision News. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

(c) 2013 Right Vision News

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.