MULTAN: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said on Monday that surplus stock of rice would be exported and new markets were being explored globally.
The country has stock of over eight million tonnes of rice, however, local consumption is nearly 3.5 million tonnes.
He said this while talking to media persons and addressing a ceremony at Agriculture University, here. Vice Chancellor Dr Asif Ali, President Pakistan Kissan Iteehad Khalid Khokhar was also present on this occasion.
Syed Fakhar Imam observed that he had discussed with Advisor on Commerce Abdur Razaq Dawood for exploration of new markets to export rice.
The country is struggling hard to improve rice exports worth four billion dollars, said Fakhar.
He also focused on value-addition of agriculture and livestock products especially milk.
He hinted that Pakistan was seventh largest producer of milk in the country. However, its value addition is only 30 percent. Value-addition of agricultural products could help earn huge foreign exchange, Fakhar remarked.
Due to incumbent government’s efforts, the country’s per acre wheat production increased by one to two maund per acre. During 12 years, it was around 30 maund per acre. Fakhar maintained that efforts were being done to improve per acre production of the wheat further. In case, government succeeds in enhancing two to three maund per acre further, it will be a very good addition in total production. It was very first time in the country that both, provincial and federal governments were examining wheat crop situation on weekly basis. Fakhar added that he was personally monitoring the wheat crop situation in the provinces.
Fakhar observed that 99 percent (16.7 million acres) sowing was completed on time in Punjab province. Similarly, Sindh achieved 98 percent, KPK 82 percent Balochistan over 75 percent sowing targets.
The government also maintained track and trace records about wheat varieties, given to farmers. During this season, the country has over 6.25 million tonne certified wheat seeds. Hopefully, in case of expected rains, the country would achieve set target of 28.9 million tonnes of wheat, Fakhar Imam said.
About Urea fertilizer issue, the minister observed that there was no issue of production of Urea fertilizers. However, there was problem of distribution and supply and the Punjab government was trying its best to ensure smooth supply. Last year, the production of Urea fertilizer was six million tonnes.
However, during the ongoing season, the production is three lakh tonnes more compared to production of the last year, he hinted. However, Some people are involved in hoarding the fertilizers.