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ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday set a wheat production target at 28.4 million tons for the Rabi season 2022-2023 from an area of 9.3 million hectares of land.

The decision to this effect was taken by the Federal Committee of Agriculture (FCA) meeting for Rabi season 2022-23 presided over by, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Federal Minister for Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), said a senior official of MNFS&R.

He said that the FCA was informed that cotton production for 2022-23 is estimated at 6.3 million bales from an area of 2.1 million hectares, showing a decrease of 43.08 percent in production over the last year. The committee reviewed the performance of the Kharif crops (2022-23) and set production targets for Rabi crops (2022-2023), he said.

The official said that the meeting also fixed production targets for other crops including grams at 560,000 tons, potato at 6029 thousand tons, onion at 2422 thousand tons, and tomato at 622 thousand tons.

The official said that the meeting also reviewed the performance of the Kharif Crops (2022-23) and was informed that sugarcane production for 2022-23 is estimated at 81.64 million tons from an area of 1.32 million hectares showing an increase of 12.44 percent and 6.23 percent in area and production respectively over the targets fixed by the FCA.

Similarly, the rice production for 2022-23 is estimated at 5.53 million tons from an area of 2.99 million hectares, showing a decrease of 2.4 percent and 34.51 percent in area and production respectively over the targets. The maize production for 2022-23 is estimated at 9.24 million tons from an area of 1.61 million hectares showing an increase of 21.02 percent and 28.86 percent over the targets. The mung bean production for 2022-23 is estimated at 183.7 thousand tons from an area of 213.2 thousand hectares showing an increase of 12.58 percent and 2.29 percent in area and production respectively over the last targets.

He said that the meeting also discussed seed availability for Rabi crops and it was informed by the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD) that certified seed availability for Rabi Crops increased by 14percent as compared to the last year. He said that for Rabi 2022-23, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) advisory committee has anticipated a shortfall of 18 percent. The meeting was further informed that during the Rabi season, provinces are allocated 30.25 MAF of water. Prevailing weather conditions are supportive and the shortage is manageable, he said.

The minister, during the meeting, said that Pakistan faced a heavy monsoon spell from July to August. These substantial rains and floods have caused heavy damage to the agriculture sector of the country. All crops, especially in Sindh and Balochistan were damaged very badly. Due to this, the prices of all essential food items had reached at the highest level.

The meeting was also attended by the representatives of provincial agriculture departments, IRSA, PMD, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL), National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC), Agriculture Policy Institute (API), Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department, Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Federal Water Management, Pakistan Oil Seed Board, Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Cooperation, senior official of the MNFS&R, and chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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