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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam, on Monday, urged that minimum support price (MSP) for wheat crop 2021-22 must be finalized before the sowing season to be started from end October. An official said this during a Wheat Review Committee meeting on 2021-22 crops.

The provincial governments have been asked to forward their proposals regarding wheat MSP for the forthcoming season to be started from the end of October 2021. The Agriculture Policy Institute (API) has worked out cost of production for Punjab at Rs 1,712.41 per 40kg and Rs 1,687.28 per kg for Sindh, he said.

The minister said that the government's enhancement of MSP from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800 produced a good result, which helped the country in harvesting the highest crop (27.5 million tons). A number of factors helped in achieving this historic production including favorable weather conditions, availability of certified seed (513,000 tons), availability of fertilizers, and irrigation water, he said.

Imam during the meeting said that the government has been focusing on availability of certified seed and for the upcoming season, around 530,000 metric tons would be available including 160,000 tons of rust-tolerant varieties.

The official said that the meeting was informed about the latest wheat production estimates, wheat stock positions, wheat carry forward and procurement progress, and update on wheat release price and minimum support price. He said that Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have finalized wheat release policy at Rs 1,950/40kg, whereas, the retail price would be Rs 1,100/20kg, while the province of Sindh has yet to get final approval from its cabinet for its wheat release policy. He said that the meeting was apprised by the provincial agricultural departments about the latest production figures of wheat.

Total wheat stock available with Punjab stands at 3.86 million metric ton (MMT), Sindh's at 1.26 MMT, KPK's at 0.18 MMT, and Baluchistan's at 0.085 MMT. The official said that representatives of all provincial food departments, the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Service Cooperation, and senior officials of the NFS&R attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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