Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Thursday said the record production in four major crops would earn billions of dollars foreign exchange for the country, besides generating additional income of around Rs399 billion for farmers.
Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, he said there was a record production in four major crops including wheat, cotton, rice and sugarcane while the yield of maize also witnessed increase, though comparatively little. “Cumulatively, there will be around 37 percent growth.”
He said the production of wheat increased by 2.2 million tons to 27.5 million tons. “Had we imported this addition wheat, the country will have to spend around over $900 million.”
The minister said the production of cotton crops was expected to reach to 9 million bales as compared to 7 million bales of last year, an increase of 2 million bales.
The minister said, if the additional 2 million bales were exported, it would earn around $750 million for the country.
Likewise, Fakhar Imam said the rice crop was also witnessing record production of 9 million tons and there were also 2 million tons carry forward stock. “So, the country is in position to export around 8 million tons when local consumption of 3.5 million tons is extracted.”
Last year, he said the country had exported $2.1 rice and this time, the exports could reach $4.75 billion, projecting an increase of $2.62 billion extra exports of rice. “We expect China and other rice exporting countries will purchase more.”