ISLAMABAD: Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) here on Thursday fixed wheat output targets at 28.4 million tons by cultivating the crop over 9.3 million hectares during crop season 2022-23 in order to fulfill local requirements.
The meeting held with Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema in chair reviewed the output of Kharif crops and set the targets for Rabi crops for season 2022-23 besides discussing the inputs throughout the season of Federal Committee on Agriculture.
The Committee was informed that sugarcane production for season 2022-23 is estimated at 81.64 million tons as it was cultivated over 1.32 million hectares. The output of sugarcane showing an increase of 12.44 %, whereas area under crop grew by 23 % as against set targets.
Meanwhile, the rice production is estimated at 5.53 million tons from an area of 2.99 million hectares showing a decrease of 2.4 % and 34.51 % in area and production respectively.
The maize production is estimated at 9.24 million tons as it increased by 21.02% and area enhanced by 86% against the fixed targets.
The mung bean production for 2022-23 is estimated at 183.7 thousand tons from an area of 213.2 thousand hectares showing an increase of 12.58% and 2.29 % in area and production respectively.
The Committee was informed that cotton production during current season is estimated at 6.3 million bales from an area of 2.1 million hectares.
Production achievements of major and minor crops like wheat, mash, gram, potato, lentil, onion, tomato and chilies were also discussed in the meeting.
The Federal Committee on Agriculture has fixed the production target for other Rabi crops including gram pulses, potato, onion and tomato and fixed at 560, 6,029, 2,422 and 622 thousand tons respectively.
The seed availability for Rabi crops was also discussed and it was informed that certified seed availability for Rabi crops increased by 14% as compared to the last year.
For Rabi 2022-23, IRSA Advisory Committee has anticipated a shortfall of 18%. During the Rabi season provinces are allocated 30.25 MAF of water and it was informed that the prevailing weather conditions are supportive and shortage is manageable.
Metrological Department informed that summer monsoon 2022 rainfall remain significantly above normal (175%) overall the country.
Balochistan and Sindh provinces received record breaking amount of rainfall in July and August 2022 with positive anomaly 450% and 426%, while KPK, GB and Punjab received 33%, 104% and 70% above normal rains respectively.
Weather outlook for the period October–December 2022 suggest that the amount of rainfall is likely to below normal over the country. Northern Punjab, KPK, GB and AJK are likely to receive below normal rainfall while near normal rainfall is expected in the rest of the country during the period.
The agricultural lending institutions registered promising agriculture lending performance during financial year 2021-22 by disbursing Rs1,419 billion against annual target of Rs. 1,700 billion of the year; recording a year-to-year growth of 4%, despite the ongoing challenges posed by climate change, geographical disparity and high cost of production.
The agricultural lending institution disbursed Rs. 226.1 billion, which is 12.6% of the overall annual target of 31.8% higher than the disbursement of Rs. 171.6 billion made during the same period of last year.
It was also informed that during upcoming Rabi 2022-23 (November-December, 2022) supply of urea and DAP expected to remain stable.
Addressing the meeting, Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema said that Pakistan faced a heavy monsoon spell from July to August, adding that the substantial rains and floods had caused heavy damages to agriculture sector of the country.
All crops, especially in Sindh and Balochistan, were damaged very badly and due to this the prices of all essential food items had reached at the highest level. To cater this worst situation of unavailability of essential food items in local markets the government facilitated the import of essential food items on fast-track basis to maintain the supply at reasonable prices to consumer, he added.
He further informed that this situation also affected the production of Kharif crops 2022-23, adding that government was making all efforts to restore and develop agriculture sector on modern lines to maintain food safety and security.