Islamabad: Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam chaired the wheat review committee on the issue of crop sowing position 2020-2021. The meeting was conducted with the provincial counterparts to monitor the ongoing sowing of wheat crop in the country. The meeting was attended by the Punjab agriculture minister Hussain Jahania Gardezi in addition with representation from all provinces.
Fakhar imam was briefed that Punjab stood at 95% sowing against the target of 16.2 million acres. Hussain Jahania Gardezi briefed the attendees that Punjab will surpass its sowing targets. He said that water availability is an on-going limiting factor. Provincial minister said that Punjab is working on improving its track and trace system for seeds. Fakhar Imam was briefed that Sindh stands at 76% of the assigned target which is 2.97 million acres. While KPK stands at 75% of the assigned target area which is 2.2 million acres. Similarly, Balochistan stands at 68% of the assigned target area which is 1.36 million acres.
Fakhar Imam said that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure progress is monitored in order to ensure that the assigned wheat crop targets are met. He said that the sowing period is the most critical period for a wheat crop and any issues arising should be catered to timely in order to stay on track. Minister said few parameters have been established to ensure that wheat crop sowing is monitored effectively.
Fakhar said these parameters include but are not limited to wheat sowing area and completion percentage of the assigned target, sowing method (Drilling or Broadcasting), quantum of fertilizer used during sowing practices (DAP and Urea), fertilizer offtake, certified seeds used, seed varieties used during sowing (old or new rust tolerant wheat varieties), availability status of herbicides and fertilizer availability and pricing status etc.
Representative of Pakistan Meteorological Department Mr. Syed Mushtaq apprised the committee that lower than normal rainfall is expected in the month of December and January. He said that the trends will become normal in the month of February. Fakhar Imam said that to ensure proper communication between all stakeholders IRSA and NFDC will also be made part of the wheat review committee.
Fakhar Imam ensured all the participants that necessary steps will be immediately taken to ensure that the factors of production are available in ample supply. Fakhar Imam praised the efforts of Punjab agriculture minister Hussain Jahania Gardezi in ensuring that the farmers sow wheat seeds timely. Punjab Minister briefed Fakhar Imam that the government of Punjab conducted numerous seminars to create awareness in addition with partnering with five agricultural universities of Punjab to mobilize agricultural students in ensuring proper sowing of wheat seeds.
The meeting was also attended by the DG Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department, Mr. Afaq Ahmed, DG API, Mr. Abdul Kareem, Food Security Commissioner, Mr. Imtiaz Ali Gopan