Different farmer lobbies have demanded a substantial increase in wheat support price from the government, through an early announcement, in order to meet the set crop targets by federal and provincial governments for the year 2014-15.
The wheat sowing season has already started in Sindh, with Punjab to follow, however, the farmer communities are anxiously waiting for an early announcement of procurement price.
“As inflation and input cost have increased manifolds, it would be hard for farmers to look for reasonable savings from upcoming wheat crop if the support price is less than Rs1,500 per 40kg”, said Haji Ramzan of Kissan Board Pakistan.
“The prices of wheat in international markets are varying between Rs1,460 to Rs1,560 per 40kg, it would not be a wise decision to import and give benefit to international farmers instead of protecting locals,” said Ibrahim Mughal, Chairman Agri Forum Pakistan.
The national target set for the staple crop for year 2014-15 is 25 million tons with a total area of 21.4 million hectares to be cultivated.
Agri experts believe the targets being set by the government for wheat may not meet the growing population demand, which is increasing at 2.5% per annum.
“Pakistan will need a minimum of 27.25 million tons of wheat for next year, whereas the target is 25 million tons,” said Mughal.
Meanwhile, Ramzan said farmers are under a financial burden due to floods, increase in urea and utility prices and above all the delaying tactics of sugar mills in dispatching payments. “All these factors could result in a decrease in production of around 15-20%,” Ramzan added.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/wheat-farmers-seek-hefty-increase-in-support-price)