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Islamabad: Agriculture experts and researchers have urged the government to delay the issuance of the wheat quota for two months to avoid a wheat crisis in the coming months.

Talking to a select group of journalists here on Thursday, the researchers said that the government should delay the issuance of wheat quota for two months as this will increase the share of the government's quota of wheat for the months of November to March.

Explaining the reason, they said that the wheat crisis is expected in the last four to five months till the arrival of new wheat crops; therefore, the government should issue the quotas to flour mills after October. The wheat in these months would be available in large quantities, while prices will also not increase, they added.

They also said that the government has not released this year's wheat quota to flour mills, despite, the fact that there is no shortage of flour in the market. Ample flour is available in the open market, as well as, in the utility stores, they stated.

The experts stated that the government should also decide to issue wheat quota for Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur divisions, keeping in view the ground realities and if the government releases better wheat for these divisions then the whole Punjab will never have a flour crisis.

They explained that both these divisions are wheat procurement markets. The government quota of wheat in the Rawalpindi division has decreased in the last 15 years.

Citing an example, they stated that the Pakistan Peoples Party government had issued 968,000 tons of quota to the flour mills of the Rawalpindi division in 2006-07, while the incumbent government issued 1,190,000 tons in 2018-19 and 910,000 tons in the year 2019-20.

They were of view that the population of the Rawalpindi division has increased tremendously during this period and the official quota of wheat for the flour mills of this division is insufficient for the local needs.

On the other hand, according to government sources, ample stocks of wheat are available in flour mills as well as the Punjab and there is no need to issue government quota immediately this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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