Curb wheat smuggling

43

CHAIRING a high level meeting to examine wheat production, available stock and expected consumption, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the authorities concerned to formulate a strategy to curb theft and smuggling of wheat.

Smuggling indeed is a very serious issue faced by the country over the last many years.

Many important products including wheat are smuggled to Afghanistan and up to Central Asian States.

This results in the shortage of the commodities in the domestic market which then results in their increase, much to the disappointment of the consumers.

In this backdrop, the very direction given by the PM is very appropriate and it should be followed by concrete actions on the ground, especially strict checking on the borders must be ensured.

The custom officials involved in illegal practices must be taken to task immediately.It has become all the most important to protect the interests of the country.

At the same time, time has come to give a serious consideration to enhancing the productivity of our major crops including wheat, cotton, rice, edible oil and so in order to become self-sufficient in them.

We very proudly say that Pakistan is an agrarian country but unfortunately be it the wheat, pulses or other items, we are largely dependent on their imports.

The meeting chaired by the PM was apprised that wheat output of 26.173 million metric tonnes is expected this year against the target of 28.89 million metric tonnes whilst the estimated consumption will be around 30.79 million metric tonnes.

The reason cited for two percent decline in wheat production is reduced wheat cultivation, water shortage and fertilizer crisis and delayed announcement of wheat support price.

The situation clearly implies that we once again have to import the wheat to meet the domestic requirements.

Our economic woes will continue to aggravate and multiply if the course correction is not done.

The country’s population is rising at a rapid pace and we have to bring in high yield crop varieties to cater to our requirements.

Most importantly, the farmers need to be given incentives especially the prices of agriculture input such as fertilizers and pesticides should be brought down in order to encourage them to bring more area under cultivation.

Uplifting the agriculture sector has become inevitable for our survival.

 

Previous articleRemove CPEC-related hurdles
Next articleCan Imran Khan return ? | By Naveed Aman Khan