ISLAMABAD: After harvesting a historic high wheat crop, the strategic grains reserves of the country further beefed up and crossed 5.750 million tons mark, besides the procurement drive for the current season also entered into its final stage across the crop producing areas in the country.
The increase in strategic reserves was mainly attributed with bumper wheat production, which was estimated to cross 27.01 million tons mark as against the set target of 27.00 million tons for crop season 2020-21, said Food Security Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr Imtiaz Ali Gopang.
Talking to APP here on Monday he said that carry forward stock of wheat was registered at 500,000 metric tons till date, besides the procurement of over 5.250 million tons during the current grain procurement campaign across the crop producing areas in the country.
Out of the total wheat stocks, he said that Punjab Province has about 3,863,709 metric tons, Sindh ‘s stocks reached to 828,346 metric tons and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 36,000 metric tons, he added.
Meanwhile, the strategic reserves in Balochistan Province were recorded at 46,000 metric tons, where as Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Service Corporation (PASSCO) has maintained the reserves of 975,851 metric tons in order to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as keeping the strategic reserves for the country to use in time of need, he added.
Food Security Commissioner further informed that public sector has so far completed about 83.34 percent task of wheat procurement as about 5.250 million metric tons of wheat has so far been procured , adding that Punjab has surpassed its targets by 102.88 percent as it procured 3.600 million tons of wheat against the set target of 3.500 million tons.
Sindh completed about 59.17 of its assigned task and procured 828,346 metric tons out of its total target, whereas Balochistan and PASSCO have completed their assigned tasks by 46.67 percent and 64.55 percent respectively, he added.
Under the current wheat procurement campaign, Balochistan has procured about 46,672 metric tons of wheat and PASSCO 774,617 metric tons, he added.
It is worth mentioning here that during the period under review, local wheat production was projected to increased by 8.1 percent, rice production 13.06 percent, sugarcane 22 percent and domestic output of maize grew by 7.38 percent respectively.However, cotton has witnessed negative growth of 22.8 percent which also resulted in a 15.6 percent decline in cotton ginning.
The overall agriculture sector growth was projected at 2.77 percent during the current fiscal year (2020-21) as compared to the same period of last year.