Over 27m metric tons wheat produced in Pakistan: Cheema



Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema has said that wheat crop production was recorded at over 27 million metric tons this year. He expressed hope that this year we would not import wheat. He said this while addressing “Meet the Press” program at Bahawalpur Press Club here on Saturday.

He said that in past, Pakistan used to export wheat to other countries, adding that but later, it imported wheat due to several reasons including climate changes.

He said that due to flash floods in Sindh province last year, we feared that we would have to import wheat to cater need of the country, adding that but this year, we achieved record production of wheat at over 27 million matric tons.

He recalled that Afghanistan, Central Asian states and few other countries used to depend on Pakistan to cater their need in respect of wheat. “It is reality that huge quantity of wheat and sugar productions and urea fertilizer was smuggled to Afghanistan and Central Asia from Pakistan.

He said that due to inflation across the world and price hike, Pakistan was also facing financial constrains. He, however, said that current government provided free of cost wheat flour to people during the holy month of Ramazan despite the fact that the country had been facing financial constraints.

He said that the government had been providing subsidy to farmers’ community as well as taking measures to provide relief to common men. “Steps are being taken to provide relief to common people,” he said.

“The government set support price of wheat at Rs 3,900 per 40 kilograms in order to encourage peasants,” he added. He said that this year, Pakistan exported rice to Iran and imported apple fruit from it.

In reply to a question, he said that general elections would be held in month of November as both national and provincial assemblies had been going to complete their tenure by 8th August 2023. He said that the Constitution had set the framework of role of the Parliament and Judiciary.

Replying to a question, he said that he was in favor of the restoration of Bahawalpur province instead of making it part of the proposed South Punjab province.

He recalled that when Shahbaz Sharif was chief minister of Punjab, the Punjab Assembly had passed a resolution unanimously, demanding two separate provinces as South Punjab province and Bahawalpur province. “I will continue raising voice for restoration of Bahawalpur province,” he said.

Referring to research being conducted in the agriculture field, he said that several research projects regarding water and agriculture were being conducted in the country.

He said that presently, country had achieved target of record yield of wheat, rice and maze and added that steps were also being taken to get record production of cotton crops.—APP