November 11, 2011
Pakistani forum calls to lift wheat support price
Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) has urged Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to increase wheat support price from the current PKR950/40 kg (US$10.97) to PKR1,250/kg (US$14.43) as the growers are prone to a loss of PKR2,100/acre (US$24.25) if they prolong the present rate.
AFP Chairman Ibrahim Mughal said that wheat sowing season is passing at a swift pace and till date only 14% land, against the target, has been brought under wheat cultivation.
He claimed that former food and agriculture minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal had ensured printing of price on fertiliser bags so as the provincial governments could ensure its implementation. "If this is not possible, then imported urea should be sold equal to the price being charged by Fauji, Engro, Dawood and other local plants so the government could save money to be given as subsidy on fertilisers," he proposed.
The AFP chairman also expressed fear that wheat production this year may remain 2-3 million tonnes less than the target if the issues like increase in support price, availability of fertiliser and others are not solved amicably at the earliest. He said it would also result in reduction in area under wheat this year. He supported his fear saying that wheat in Punjab had been sown on 1.3 million acres till date against the target of 16.5 million acres of land.