Wheat growers welcome new support price


Wheat growers have welcomed the government’s new support price of wheat for the year 2012-13 at the rate of Rs. 1200 per 40 kg saying it will encourage the farmers to grow more crop for the benefit of the country.
“The increase in the support price for wheat is good step of the government which will encourage the farmers grow crop on maximum area”, said Muhammad Nasir Sarwar, President of Kissan Welfare Association while talking to APP.
He, however was of the view that the new price was not according to the farmers’ expectation adding the government did not increase the wheat support price for last three years but during this period prices of agri inputs including diesel, urea and other expenses have gone up marginally.
He demanded the government to enhance the support price up to Rs. 2000 per 40 kg and suggested that the government should follow the strategy of targeted subsidy on wheat for the poor segment of the country.
Meanwhile, Chief Agriculture Policy Institute (API) Abdul
Rauf Chaudhry told this news agency that sufficient inputs like seed, water and fertilizers are available for the sowing of Rabi crops particularly major food crop of the season wheat.
According to estimates of Indus River System Authority (IRSA) about 3.4 percent extra water would be available for sowing the wheat crop during the current season, said here on Friday adding that the Water availability during the Rabi season has been estimated about 30.4 Million Acre Feet (MAF) whcih is 3.4 percent higher than the last year and up by 7 percent as compared to the last year 7 years. He informed that all the arrangements have been finalized for sowing the Rabi crops as the season starts from October and continues till March for sowing of different crops including wheat, mustard and other minor crops and vegetables to fulfill the domestic requirements.
About the fertilizers and pesticides availability, he said that about 2,996 thousand tons of urea fertilizer are available throughout the season with 684 thousand tons carry forward stocks of last year. According the estimates of National Fertilizer Development Company, out of the total required urea, 1900 thousand tons are domestic produce where as 412 thousand tons are get by import, he added.
The estimated off-take of urea will be about 3,000 tons thus the demand and supply position up to June 2013 is expected to remain comfortable depending upon the arrival of scheduled imports, he added.
He said that about 943 thousand tons of DAP would be available for Rabi 2012-13 with 227 thousand tons of opening stocks. Out of the total required quantum of the input 336 thousand tons are domestic production where as the remaining quantity will be fulfilled by import.
Rauf Chaudhry said that the expected off-take is likely 785 thousand tons during the current season for sowing the wheat crop. five years, he added.
Sufficient certified wheat seed at affordable rates are also available as country was receiving bumper crop from last four years and to control the herbicides attack on the crop private sector was also vigilant.
It may be recalled that wheat crop is cultivated over 75 percent areas in Punjab, 12 percent in Sindh, 8 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 4 percent area over Balochistan.
Out of the total wheat out put about 76 percent is produced in Punjab, while Sindh produce 16 percent, KP 5 percent and Balochistan produces 3 percent of total wheat produced across the country.
The API head informed that according the data received from the provinces normal sowing of wheat was recorded across the wheat sowing areas, however he said that normal rainfall during the period from January-March would help the country to achieve healthier crop. He further said that timely rainfall in the Potohar region has helped the wheat crop sowing and the cultivated area under wheat crop also witnessed increase.

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