ISLAMABAD - Wheat harvesting season in the Punjab province is expected to formally start from April 15 and will continue for next two months.
An official in the Ministry of Food Security and Research (MinFS&R) told APP here on Monday that due to prevailing hot climate across the wheat producing belt it was expected that the crop will mature for harvesting within due date.
He further informed that the harvesting has been started in some areas of Sindh province, adding that the process will get momentum in the rest of crop producing areas of the country as currently moisture was observed in fields of standing crop.
The official said that wheat crop was set a cultivation target of over 22.7 million acres across the country to produce 25 million tons to fulfil the domestic consumptions as well as to export.
In Punjab, it was cultivated on over 16 million acres as against the set target of 16.95 million acres to produce 19.2 million tons, in Sindh 2.5 million acres against the fixed targets of 2.7 million acres to get output of 3.2 million tons, he added.
In Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wheat was cultivated on over 0.6 million acres and 1.78 million acres respectively as against the set targets of 0.8 and 1.5 million acres respectively.
In Balochistan and KPK the crop output was fixed at 0.8 million and sown on over 1.5 million tons for the period under review.
He said that the total wheat output across the globe is expected to remain 665-670 million tons as against it consumption of 680 million tons.
Meanwhile, he said that all the arrangements have also been finalized to start the wheat procurement campaign for the year 2012-13.
In this regard, he said that Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) has established 220 centers in 11 zones across the country to start its wheat procurement campaign for the year 2012-13.
All the logistic arrangements have been finalized to procure about 2 million tons of wheat to fulfil the domestic requirements as well as keeping the strategic stocks and export, he added.
The corporation has divided the country in 11 zones and established 220 centers, adding that Punjab was divided into nine zones, while Sindh and Balochistan are considered as single zone separately.
For the wheat procurement operation 2012-13, he said PASSCO has arranged 15 million jot bags for the growers to facilitating them to sell their output at official fixed cost of Rs 1050 per 40 kg.
He further said about eight bags per acre would be provided to the growers on showing the land revenue records to keep transparency during the campaign.
The PASSCO was striving to provide more bags to the growers having less than 10 acres land without further inquiry to sell their produces.