Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Chairman Dr Ibrahim Mughal has claimed that Pakistan has allowed the commodity importers to import 800,000 tons of wheat and feared that importers may approach former Russian estates to buy cheaper grain. However, he alleged, that Russian wheat is far inferior in the quality which is not liked in Pakistan rather being used as animal feed in various countries of the world.
While talking to media persons here on Friday, Mughal said Pakistan never had the need to import the 800,000 tons of wheat if Punjab province had met its production target. He said this year production target of the province was 19.2 million tons while it could achieve only 18.6 million tons. He criticised the Punjab government and high ups of Punjab Agriculture Department in their sheer failure to take steps for enhancing wheat production.
He said that our government was reluctant to buy wheat from local growers at Rs 1200 per maund but the same rulers would buy wheat from foreign farmers at Rs 1400 per maund helping commission mafia to feather their nests. He was of the view that Pakistan has to produce 27 million tons of wheat next year against this year’s production of below 25 million tons to meet the requirements.
He proposed that the government should fix the support price of wheat for next season at Rs 1400 per maund and announce the same in September so as to motivate the growers to bring maximum area under wheat cultivation and make efforts for a bumper crop.