Provinces fail to submit wheat losses report to Centre

ISLAMABAD: The provinces have failed to submit a report to the federal government about wheat losses in the current fiscal year, it emerged on Wednesday.

Sources said all provinces usually submit the wheat losses report to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFSC) every year on March 31, however, no one has submitted the report so far this year.

Sources further said the federal government could not determine the wheat production target due to non-availability of statistics from the provinces.

The wheat crop during FY20 remained under the locusts’ attack in three provinces- Sindh, Punjab and to some extent in Balochistan. In addition, the damages have also been reported to the wheat crop in Punjab owing to heavy rains in the last few months. However the federal ministry has not yet got data of damages.

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The federal government had also imposed an emergency with regard to preventing the locusts’ attacks, sources said, adding Chinese are assisting the government on this matter.

They said the ministry has conveyed to a meeting to determine wheat crop losses on coming Monday and provinces have been asked to share the production as well as cultivation report.

Sources said wheat harvest has begun in the country, apart from this and Punjab has stated the procurement from the last three days.

It is feared that the government couldn’t fulfil the procurement targets of wheat.

The federal government has set 82 million metric tonnes of wheat procurement target in which Punjab’s share is 45 million metric tonnes, Sindh 14 million metric tonnes, Balochistan 1 million metric tonnes and PASSCO 18 million metric tonnes.

Earlier, the Sindh government and PASSCO were procuring wheat from farmers who had harvested the crop, but due to the lockdown, the procurement stopped.

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