ISLAMABAD - While wheat flour is selling in the country at a price of Rs 50 per kilogram or more, the farmers are still losers as they are unable to get more than Rs 1,100 per 40kg (about Rs 27 per kg) against their recent wheat produce. 41
Presently, the remaining wheat crop of the last season stored by big traders and stockers is being sold at a price of Rs 1,600 per 40kg and even more and wheat flour at Rs 50 and even more in some parts of the country, including the Sindh province.
Keeping in view the prevailing price and difference between demand and supply of the wheat crop, it was expected that the farmers would at least get Rs 1,300 per 40 kilogram for their new wheat crop, but the situation is different and they are still at the mercy of traders and millers because the government is not there to help them.
As per the market sources, the common grower is even unable to sell its produce to provincial and federal food departments as he is not so influential to get gunny bags from these departments to sell his crop to the government. Feudalists have all the connections and resources to sell their crop at a better rate whereas an ordinary grower can just see himself being looted, but can't do anything.
“The present attitude of the government towards the growers is very disappointing and it will worsen the food security situation in the country in the future. At least I am not willing to sow wheat next year; the prevailing price is not enough even to meet my expenses,” Abdur Rehman, a wheat grower, said. He further said an ordinary grower was not even able to store his produce because he needed money to buy pesticides, seed and some others. In this situation, he did not have a choice but to suffer, he lamented.
The country is facing wheat shortage this year and, as per experts, it will have to import at least 1 million tons of wheat to bridge the gap between demand and supply of the commodity. The major reason, the experts quote, is that the government did not increase the wheat support price this year that discouraged farmers and there was lesser wheat sowing area this year as compared to previous years.