ISLAMABAD: The country may face significant challenges in meeting the agriculture growth target of 3.5 percent set for 2023-24, as ongoing rains have negatively impacted on major crops including wheat.

This was stated by a senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) while talking to Business Recorder.

The wheat production target of 32.2 million tons set for the current season is at high risk, owing to ongoing rainfall, which has delayed the harvest as well as damaged standing crops.

The official said that rains would also negatively impact other Rabi crops including oil seeds like mustard and canola as well as gram - already negatively affected by prolonged dry spells in the country. However, the wet spell will help increase the production of sugarcane crop.

The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has fixed the wheat production target at 32.2 million tons for the Rabi Season 2023-2024 from an area of 8.9 million hectares of land. The committee also fixed the production targets for other Rabi crops including grams at 4.1 million tons, potato at 60,330 thousand tons, onions at 2,494 thousand tons, and tomato at 666 thousand tons.

The dry spell initially affected wheat crop negatively, especially in rain-fed areas which produce 10 percent of total wheat production, said the official, adding the crop was ready for harvest in Punjab and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however the current rains delayed it.

Further due to rains, standing crops were damaged, negatively impacting yield and quality of wheat crop which is the major cash crop of the season and a vital source of staple food for the local population.

Khalid Khokhar representative of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) told Business Recorder that current wet spell will also negatively impact on mangoes production in the country. On account of prolonged wet spell, mangoes are facing significant challenges of several diseases, which may negative impact production.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department more rains-wind/thunderstorm are predicted during the current week (with occasional gaps). Met Office stated that another strong westerly wave is likely to enter western parts of the country on 16th April (night) and likely to grip most parts of Balochistan on 17th April, and will extend to upper parts of the country on 18th April.

Windstorm/hailstorm and lightning may damage standing crops, loose structures like electric poles, vehicles and solar panels during the period. Further, farmers especially in wheat harvested areas were advised to manage their crops keeping in view the weather conditions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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Tariq Apr 17, 2024 07:38am
We are moving towards famine.
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