ISLAMABAD: The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) was apprised that that wheat production for 2018-19 was estimated on Wednesday (today) at 25.16 million tons from an area of 8.83 million hectares.
According to a statement issued from the ministry, coupled with the last year’s left over stock of 3.0 million tons, the total availability of wheat would be about 28.16 million tons which was well over and above the total national requirements.
The high-powered FCA mandated to oversee strategic measures for ensuring food security in the country, held its second biannual meeting today with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mahboob Sultan in the chair.
The committee was informed that the Gram production for 2018-19 was estimated at 439.0 thousand tons from an area of 943.7 thousand hectares, the statement said and added that the committee also discussed the production achievements of other essential crops like Lentil, Potato, Onion and Tomato.
The FCA held detailed deliberations over the production targets for essential Kharif crops 2019-20 and decided to fix 15.0 million bales of cotton production target from an area of land 2895 thousand ha whereas fix 7433 thousand tons production target for Rice over 2880 thousand ha of land.
The statement further said that the targets for other crops such as Maize, Mung, Mash and Chilies were also fixed. The committee fixed the production target (2019-20) of sugar cane at 68583.0 thousand ton overran area of 1183.9 thousand hectares.
Pondering over the availability of agricultural inputs for Kharif crops (2019-20), the committee was informed that sufficient water will be available in reservoirs. For the year 2019-20, the water availability in canals head will remain 108.67 million acres feet (MAF) as against last year which was 88.04 MAF.
At present all the provinces are getting their satisfactory supplies in the system.
Meteorological department informed that overall normal to slightly above normal rainfalls are likely to occur all over the country during the month of May. However, based on gradual increase in air temperatures effective use of available water stocks is recommended.
The Committee was also informed that the availability of rice and maize seed will remain higher than the total seed requirement which would be 121.28% and 112.83% respectively.
The FCA appreciated the positive impact of fertilizer subsidy scheme which contributed to high yield and noted that the supply of Urea and DAP fertilizers was satisfactory for 2018-19 Rabi Season.
The committee was informed that that the new government was trying its level best to help the farmers by taking various actions to uplift agriculture.
Besides participations of senior officers of the Ministry of National Food Security a Research, the meeting was attended by the Provincial Agriculture Departments, State Bank of Pakistan, ZTBL, National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC), Pakistan Meteorological Department, Indus River System Authority and member, Food Security & Climate Change of Planning Commission of Pakistan.