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ISLAMABAD: Experts Saturday urged the government to take immediate enforcement measures at border areas to prevent smuggling of wheat to neighbouring countries. Among other experts, Khan Faraz from Hayatabad, Peshawar informed media representatives, here on Saturday that the federal government on March 19, 2021 has increased wheat support price to Rs1,800 per 40kg from Rs1,650 per 40kg.

Subsidies on staple food grains is a common practice across the world; even in America and Europe, the governments take necessary steps to support farmers, and also ensure a smooth and affordable supply of food grains for everybody to survive irrespective of their socio-economic status.

"Although grown on a large area there have been crisis of crop shortage in the country whenever the support price fixed was not considered profitable by the farmers," the expert said.

Another burden on the farmers is a rapid surge in the prices of agriculture machinery and electricity without which the farmers are unable to produce their crops in sufficient quantities in time to be sold in the market.

Moreover, the government must make efforts to prevent smuggling of wheat to neighbouring countries, as in the past uncalculated export of wheat had resulted in domestic scarcity, prompting the government to import wheat from other countries.

Taking this into account, the farmers are also not getting a fair deal and the public is still under the constant threat of a wheat crisis, which may result in a severe shortage of the commodity for household use.

Also the government should ensure the commodity prices are not increased in the market, Khan Faraz added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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