Pakistan Observer

Non-availability of water to damage wheat crop

Monday, February 27, 2012 - Lahore—Non-availability of water could damage about 2-3 lac tons of wheat crop in Punjab, as per acre yield of the commodity has gone down from 28 mounds to 25 mounds/acre. Well-informed sources told that the tall claims of the government about ensuring the availability of water during sowing season of the crop have proved an exercise in futility, as the growers, who are living in remote areas are still deprived of water even after sowing the crop.

“Most of the wheat farmers in the remote areas of Punjab have lost their crop due to non-availability of water at appropriate time,” sources added.

Sources said that the government has fixed wheat support price at Rs 1,050 per 40kg for the next harvest that is Rs 100 more than that (Rs 950/40kg) fixed for the last year, while the overall cost of production of wheat growers is Rs 1013/40 kg that is just Rs 37/40kg less than the support price of wheat being fixed by the government. Punjab was estimated to produce 19.2 million tons of wheat for 2011-12, but the province is likely to produce just 17 million tons having a shortage of 2.2 million tons than the target set for the current fiscal year, sources revealed.

Wheat should be planted on time to get maximum yield. Harvesting of wheat crop should be carried out when the crop reaches maturity and the grain contains 16-17 percent moisture.

Normally in Pakistan, wheat harvesting starts from end of March in South and continues till end of July in Northern parts. “The unsatisfactory wheat support price has already disappointed the growers as the crop procurement price should be around Rs 1150/40 kg to encourage the farmers for wheat sowing. Pakistan’s total domestic wheat requirements are about 21.70 million tons of wheat for a population of about 175 million at the rate of 124 kg per capita/annum”, sources said.—Agencies

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