Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) has recommended the government to fix the wheat support price around Rs 1,400 per 40 kilograms for the next crop, warning that in other case farmers may go for other crops which fetch more profit. This was disclosed at FAP’s 121st meeting held here the other day chaired by Afaq Ahmad Tiwana (CEO) along with President Dr Tariq Bucha.
The meeting basically discussed the emerging importance of Biotech crops to resolve future requirements of food and feeds and solid solution pertaining to land and water needs thereby the introduction of drought and salinity resistant crops. During other discussions, FAP members were informed that FAP has taken up wheat support price issue with the government and recommended that it should be around Rs 1,400 per maund for the next crop otherwise many farmers will not sow wheat as they would rather go for other crops, which fetch more profit like Canola, etc.
The House was also given the costing of wheat by the FAP leadership claiming that the international wheat price US 290 Dollars per ton. The price FOB Karachi, the meeting stated would be Rs 27,840 per ton. After including import expenses plus withholding tax this rate would come to Rs 30,624 per ton or Rs 30.624 per kilogram. Thus landed cost of the 40 kilograms wheat would come to Rs 1,224 (Ex-Karachi) and after adding transportation charges (at the rate of Rs 5 per kilograms) it would come to Rs 1,425 per 40 kilograms for the consumers.
The House also raised question regarding MFN Status to India where both insensitive and negative list there is no mention of any agricultural products. The House demanded to take up with government to make a special MFN regarding agriculture sector as heavy subsidies are given to agriculture products in India whereas no subsidies are practically available for farmers in Pakistan.
The farmers unanimously voiced their concern and offered full support to FAP management under whose leadership all the farmers are ready and if needed they will initiate a march to Islamabad in December 2012 and if not listened to by the government, then, maybe, they physically stop the agricultural products from India till the resolution of this matter. Discussing the prevailing rice prices in the market, the meeting was informed that at the moment Basmati is selling at Rs 1,800 and if farmers are ready to hold till December, it might touch Rs 2,000.
The meeting observed that the situation is more or less satisfied. The House is very vocal about local support price announced by the government regarding to sugar cane crop. The member said that at present the production cost is Rs 195 and the price should have been fixed around Rs 220 to make a reasonable profit. The members also agitated the cold attitude both in Punjab and Sindh where the farmers are not paying on time and refusing to buy on declared support price.
The meeting further observed that according to a recent report as against the set target of 14 million bales in view of rain it was now reassessed to be around 12.5 million bales. The House was informed that FAP has asked the government to intervene and stop import of cotton from Brazil and India, which is hurting the farmer as price of cotton is much lower than the cost incurred.