Wheat cultivation should be controlled

Karachi, June 24, 2018 (PPI-OT): Business leader Malik Sohail Hussain on Sunday said support price of wheat should not be increased and its area under cultivation should be reduced to reduce production and save the country from colossal losses. Pakistan produces more wheat than it consumes and the carryover stocks from the last years added up to millions of tonnes of surplus which is very problematic, he said.

He said that wheat in Pakistan is costliest in the world which is an incentive for the growers but government suffers from heavy losses due to surplus production while masses are made to pay more. Malik Sohail Hussain who is also former SVP of ICCI demanded a plan to divert some growers to oilseed cultivation which will help cut edible oil import bill.

The target for wheat production has been set at 26.5 million tonnes which is hard to achieve on the back of water scarcity and increasing price of fertilizer while the export target will be missed despite hefty export subsidies, he noted. The support price of wheat is Rs1300 per 40 kg which is almost double the international price and an increase in it will not only hurt poor but also result in inflation, he observed.

He said that high support price has resulted in surplus production which results in losses to the tune of billions while a good chunk of the wheat rot due to want of proper storage facilities. The government should find a solution to the surplus production of wheat which will help the country save money, he demanded.

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