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Food inflation to increase




  • The rise in fertiliser price by local manufacturers will ultimately increase food inflation and will have an impact on the agriculture production in Pakistan in the months to come, while the crop of wheat may take the brunt of the increase, an office-bearer of Sindh Abadgar Board said on Thursday.

    “The wheat crop may take the brunt of the increase in price of fertiliser and increases Pakistan’s dependence more on imported wheat next year,” Mehmood Nawaz Shah, vice president of the board, said.

    “The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has already said that Pakistan will import around 900,000 tons wheat in the next fiscal year,” he said, adding that upward revision in the fertiliser prices may force the country to import more wheat than forecasted by the FAO.

    The county will require around $600 million to import around 900,000 tons wheat, as the grain is available at $350 to $400 per ton these days at the world markets, he said.

    In the ongoing fiscal year (2013-14) to date, Pakistan has reportedly imported close to 400,000 tons of wheat from the countries, including Russia and Ukraine, he said. The increase in price of fertiliser will also take food inflation up in the months to come, he said. “Fertiliser is one of the major input items of agricultural produce and the rise in its price will definitely increase prices of agriculture items,” he said.

    The increase may also result in lowering the use of fertiliser and reduce agriculture production, he added. He said that the increase in fertiliser prices negated the government’s stance of keeping price of food items lower. “One cannot maintain price of agriculture produce low after price of one major input, ie, fertiliser went up,” he said.

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