‘Farmers to get certified wheat seed on subsidised rate’

Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema Saturday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would provide certified seeds to one million farmers at subsidized rate to increase wheat production this year.

Addressing a press conference here to brief the media about the recently held Federal Agriculture Committee (FAC) meeting, he said the government would give a subsidy of more than Rs 24 billion on fertilizers also this year.

He said the government had performed very well in obtaining good yield from major Kharif crops.

He said that last year 5.7 million bales of cotton were produced, and during the current year, it was expected to obtain 9.5 to 10 million bales of cotton.

He said India was the biggest exporter of cotton and this year its cotton export had reduced by 36 per cent.

The SAPM said that $5 billion had been invested in the textile sector of Pakistan this year.

He said that the increased production of 4 million bales of cotton had raised the value addition in textile up to Rs 1200 billion.

He termed all these outcomes a success of the government efforts to strengthen the agriculture sector.

He said that cotton and textile had revived and added that after 2011, last year textile export was increased by $4 billion and he hoped that this year it would further increase by $5 billion. He said that during the PPP government, grain production was increased by 1.5 per cent.

The special assistant said that during the last three years, grain production increased by 16 per cent and this year it would increase by 14 per cent.

This year, a target had been set to increase wheat production by 5 per cent, he added.

The government was focusing on increasing the maize crop production by 25 million tonnes, he added.

He said that country’s sugar demand was less than 6 million tonnes and last year the commodity was produced more than country’s demand, adding that due to lack of strategic reserves, hoarders exploited the situation.

This year, it was expected that sugarcane production would be more than 100 million tonnes.

He said that two million tonnes of wheat was being imported to build strategic reserves, adding that for the next year, wheat target had been set at 30 million tonnes.