Food ministry advised not to import additional wheat

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce has suggested the Ministry of National Food Security and Research not to import additional wheat during March-April 2021, it was learnt on Thursday.

As per the commerce ministry, any additional arrival of imported wheat in March-April 2021, when local wheat would be available in Pakistan, should be avoided as it would create an imbalance with support price and discourage local farmers.

The MoC stated that decisions in the matter may be taken after thorough consideration of the supply and demand position, quantity of local crops and price differential.

According to sources, the government has estimated the arrival of 2.15 million metric tonnes of wheat by March-April 2021, which is already sufficient and does not allow accommodating additional demand.

“Additional wheat may tentatively arrive by April 2021 at the earliest (if all goes well), when indigenous wheat shall also be available in the market and provincial governments would be buying it at support price. Therefore, there is a possibility that recipient agencies would refuse the imported wheat in April-May 2021, as recently happened in case of procurement/import of sugar,” a source privy to the development said.

The ECC, in its meeting held on Wednesday, had deferred the plan to import additional wheat till the next meeting after input from the commerce ministry.

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