Punjab sets wheat procurement target at 3.5 million tonnes

Punjab wheat

Punjab is going to procure at least 3.5 million tonnes of wheat this season as provincial authorities have approved the procurement target.

Dr. Omer Jahangir, the Food Director of Punjab while talking to the media said that the provincial government had decided to procure at least 3.5 million tons of wheat during the ongoing season.

He told the media that the approval for the procurement target has already been given. Last year, the procurement target was set at 5 million before it was revised to 3.5 million tons and then it was made open-ended to stabilize the market in favor of the farmers.

As far as the Minimum Support Price (MSP) is concerned, the Punjab government has set it at Rs 1,950 per 40 kg and the government of Sindh has set it at Rs 2,200 per 40 kg for the season of 2021-22.

Talking over the difference between the Minimum Support Price of wheat between the two provinces, Dr. Omer said that both, the federal and provincial governments have agreed to bring it on a par with the rate, fixed by the government of Sindh but notification in this regard is regard is still awaited.

Read more: Wheat production target for next season likely to rise to 30 million tonnes

He further said that the movement of wheat from Punjab would be strictly kept under control. For the procurement of 3.5 million of wheat, an amount of Rs 170 billion would be required if the MSP remains at Rs 1,950 per 40 kg but if it is fixed at Rs 2,200 per 40 kg, then Rs 209 billion would be needed.

The government would be facing the challenge of smuggling wheat, especially to Ukraine, the crop’s quality of which is closed to Pakistan’s.

Due to the present war-like condition between Russia and Ukraine, the price of wheat there is $483 per ton or Rs 67.4 per kg and if the tension between the two states continues, it is likely that the rate of wheat will further go up.

If compared, the local price would be Rs 48.75 per kg if the MSP is Rs 1,950 per 40 kg and it is Rs 55 per kg if the MSP is Rs 2,200 per 40 kg.

Director Food, Punjab said that this is for the first time in the decade that such a big difference is being witnessed between the local and global prices.

He said, “During the last decade, the local wheat price remained higher than the international market except once when rates on both the markets were equal.” Dr. Omer informed that sufficient stocks of wheat are available to keep the flour prices stable.

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