Wheat support price


ECONOMIC Coordination Committee (ECC) at its meeting on Wednesday increased the minimum support price of wheat by Rs 50 to Rs 1350 per forty kilogram in an attempt to safeguard the interest of growers and ensure food security for the consumers.
The support price of one of the important crops has been increased after a lapse of five years. In view of factors such as world wheat supply situation, cost of production, export-import parity prices and domestic producer prices, an appropriate support price for the next wheat crop was being considered necessary. We really support provision of all possible relief to the farmers as the agriculture sector cannot be uplifted without bringing improvement in their life. However, thisvery decision will lead to further increase in the prices of roti at tandoors and the flour in the open market. There appears to be no harmony in policies of the government as on the one side it appears to be striving to bring down the price of roti for the common man but on the other hand it is increasing the commodity price. If the government is really interested to provide relief to the farmers and improve their living standards, it should target to cut their input costs which according to the findings of the Agriculture Policy Institute, has increased to Rs 1349.57 per forty kilogram in Punjab and Rs1,315.72 per 40 kg in Sindh. It should move swiftly towards resolving the issue of long standing Gas Development Infrastructure Cess (GIDC) to reduce the prices of fertilizers. Then by subsidizing the prices of pesticides, seeds and farm mechanization such as tractors and threshers, a direct benefit can be extended to the farmers. The fifty rupee increase, we understand, rather will go into the pockets of the middleman instead of the farmers. Then the focus should be laid on allocating sufficient resources for research in the agriculture sector with the aim to improve farm yield and ensure protection of crops from pests and diseases.