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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Fakhar Imam, Saturday said the country has witnessed record production of wheat, rice, maize, onion, and pulses this year.

Speaking at a news conference, he said that the country has produced 27.3 million tons of wheat this year, while last year’s wheat production was 25.3 million tons.

“This is the record production of wheat in the history of the country as earlier the country once produced 26 million tons of wheat,” he said, adding that the main reason behind increase in production of wheat and other crops was use of quality seed, use of track and trace system, the prime minister’s recent initiatives, and favourable weather conditions. To a question, he said that out of 6.3 million ton wheat procurement target, so far 5.4 million ton wheat has been procured.

He said that maize production remained at record 8.645 million tons, while last year the country produced 7.88 million tons of maize.

The country produced 8.41 million tons of rice this year, which is also record production, he said, adding that the country has also witnessed a 21 percent increase in potato production.

To increase declining cotton production in the country, the government has transferred Rs6 billion to all the provincial governments for provision of cotton seeds, fertilizer, etc to farmers.

The government has fixed cotton production target at 10.5 million bales for this year, he said, adding that the agricultural sector was neglected in the past and, “we have to regain our lost ground in cotton production by using modern research and technology. We are also tracking and tracing for quality seeds, he said.

He said that mango and citrus export has witnessed an increase and the country exported 141,500 tons of mango and 46,200 tons of citrus this year.

Rice export has witnessed 11 percent increase and potato 28 percent increase this year, he said.

To control the huge edible import bill, the government is planning to focus on increase in production of soybean in the country. Present government has also planned to promote floriculture and is also focusing on organic farming for enhancing the country’s export.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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