ISLAMABAD: In order to maintain the strategic reserves of staple food as well as to facilitate the growers to sell their produces on official fixed rates, the federal government has decided to kick off early wheat procurement drive for the crop season (2019-20) next month from Sindh.
The procurement campaign in Sindh province would start from March 5 as wheat crop harvesting has been initiated in lower Sindh, said Food Security Commissioner Dr Imtiaz Ali Gopang.
Talking to APP on Friday, he said the wheat procurement drive in Punjab, the largest grain producing province, would start from April 5 with an aim to facilitate the growers particularly small scale growers.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet, in its recent meeting, had accorded the approval for procuring 8.25 million tonnes wheat during the current procurement campaign, he added.
Gopang said the Punjab government had been tasked to procure 4.5 million tonnes of grains in order to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as keeping strategic reserves of food grains.
“The Sindh government, on the other hand, had been assigned to procure 1.40 million tonnes of wheat, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government would procure 0.10 million tonnes of grains during the current procurement drive.”
The provinces had been assigned procurements tasks after due deliberations and their respective food departments had agreed to procure assigned targets in order to fulfill their consumption needs, he added.
The Food Security commissioner further informed that the government had also asked the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) to procure 1.80 metric tonnes of wheat.
“The provincial food departments have already established their procurement centers in their different areas which have been divided into zones. The departments would depute the required staff as the drive starts,” he added.
Besides, the PASSCO would also establish its centers in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, Gopang said, adding Sindh and Punjab had been divided into three and six zones respectively.
He said one such center would be set up in Dara Allahyar.