ISLAMABAD - In case the political rift between the two major parties (PPP and PML-N) lasts long, the wheat growers across the country would suffer a lot and they might not be able to get the right price of their product from the government and in the open market. Ibrahim Mughal, President Agri Forum Pakistan said while talking to TheNation that the present political situation in the country would provide level playing field to traders and stockists mafia to fleece the farmers by offering them lesser price of their produce. Harvesting of crop has been started in Sindh Province and in Punjab it would start in April. He said that the government was busy in other issues and presently nobody seemed interested or available to plan and then monitor the wheat procurement procedures. Some other market sources said that at a time when the government was completely involved in number game and trying to conquer its political opponents, the farmers were likely to be left alone at the disposal of industrialists and traders. The govt announced this year that it would procure 6.5 million tons of wheat from the growers at a price of Rs 950 per 40 kilogram and it would also make sure the availability of the same price of their produce in the open market but it seemed not possible in the given circumstances, sources said. Out of 6.5m tons wheat procurement target, Punjab Food Department was responsible for the purchase of 3.5m tons and PASSCO for 1.5m tons. Though the Federal Govt had ordered the departments concerned to achieve the target yet non-availability of political govt could harm the farmers, sources said. Presently the farmers are much confused feeling that in case they are not treated well by the departments and the so-called civil servants then who to approach? As apparently there is no responsible body available to listen to their problems. Bumper crop of wheat was expected this year and at least 9.5m tons of product would be brought into market whereas the govt had set the procurement target of 6.5m tons, Malhi said. He said that the Federal Government should now extend its procurement target to 8m tons to save the farmers from the atrocities of industrialists and traders. Extending the target would help to increase efficiency of the departments involved in wheat procurement and it would create competition between the private traders and these departments. Otherwise, he said, both might exploit the growers, in case of government departments by demanding bribe and private traders could exploit them by offering lesser price of their produce.