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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Meteorological Department (PDM) has predicted a good news for wheat growing farmers, saying that the weather system is expected to be ‘lovely and suitable’ for crop harvesting across the country.

“The recent rains have not put any negative impact on wheat crop as compared to previous years and I assume farmers would get better crop yields this year because of suitable weather in coming days,” a spokesman of PMD, Dr Khalid Malik said.

Talking to APP, he said wheat harvesting has started in Sindh and in districts of South Punjab such as Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and some others of the region.

Similarly the harvesting would gradually get momentum in upper parts of Punjab province keeping in view of increasing temperature. However, the good news was that the harvesting wheat season would remain favourable and help meet targets and requirements, he said.

The government had set target of wheat production at 26.78 million tons for 2020-21 and to achieve this all out support to agriculture sector including subsidized fertilizers, pesticides and concessional lending to farmers were provided.

Meanwhile, when contacted a prominent farmer from district Layyah, Southern Punjab, Mahar Sami Ullha said,” Thanks to God the weather conditions this year are suitable for harvesting and threshing and which would ultimately help meet required yields per acre.”

“We pray the weather be remained as favourable as we are expecting and I am also quite optimistic about increased crop yield this year. The government has also increased the rate of wheat support price and fixed it Rs 1, 800 per 40 kilogram which I consider a reward for farmers,” he said.

“I am quite hopeful during this season the farmers would get reward of their hard work,” Mahar maintained.

Similarly, another farmer from Southern Punjab district Jhang, Ghulam Hussain in a telephonic conversation said because of increasing temperature in some areas, early harvesting of wheat crop has started in Punjab while harvesting would be initiated in rest of the areas of the province, provided the heat increases and most probably after Besakhi (around second week of April).

Ghulam Hussain opined that the authorities concerned should ensure provision of Bardana (Jute sacks) or gunny bags to the farmers in time so as to safely store the crop.

He was of the view that amid favourable weather conditions, the timely provision of Bardana would be critical to achieve better results. Meanwhile, the Punjab government had earmarked Rs170 billion for wheat procurement drive after finalising financing deals with the banks. As per wheat procurement plan, provincial food department has decided to make wheat procurement target flexible considering the market sentiments and may buy up to five million tons of grains during the upcoming drive, which is due to be launched from April 1 with issuance of gunny bags.

From April 1, farmers can collect Bardana or gunny bags from 384 procurement centres established by the food department. The physical procurement of wheat would start from April 15. The Punjab government has increased the support price of wheat from Rs1,400 to Rs1,800. For the first time in history of Pakistan, the price of wheat was increased by Rs400 per 40kg in a year.