About 430,000 tonnes wheat imported, more on the way: minister

ISLAMABAD: Around 430,000 tonnes of imported wheat has arrived while more would also reach Pakistan soon to meet the shortfall of the commodity, said National Food Security and Research Minister Syed Fakhar Imam.

Briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday, Imam maintained that the country was 1.5MT short of the wheat target this year. “Therefore, the government had allowed private entities to import wheat to meet the shortfall.”

The committee meeting was held at Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) under the chairmanship of Rao Muhammad Ajmal.

Fakhar Imam said that the major factor for the low output of crops was the outdated seed technology, adding that climate change had also caused damage to agriculture production this year.

He said that Punjab and Sindh were the most affected provinces by recent rains which were also a reason that the targets of some crops’ output could not be achieved.

The minister said that the federal government was in constant contact with the provinces to fix the minimum support price of wheat for the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, the meeting was also informed that one of the country’s major crop’s, cotton, was not meeting production targets due to poor seed quality and white fly attacks. To counter this issue, the government has started the subsidy on white fly pesticides.

“The experts of our ministry are continuously working on it and we are also trying to ensure transparency in this regard,” Fakhar Imam concluded.

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