ISLAMABAD - The country is expected to produce 24 million tons of wheat this year that can satisfy the needs of the country in terms of quantity but price of wheat flour is likely to increase due to increase in support price of wheat, announced by the federal government recently.

As per the latest figures available from the officials in provincial agriculture ministries, though the target of 25 million tons of wheat production seems not to be achieved but still 24 million tons would be enough for the whole year. But they said that masses would have to pay the inflationary prices of staple food while farmers would get no significant benefit as well.

There are several reasons behind increasing cost of staple food and one of them is no government support in terms of provision of inputs on affordable prices. The cost of production has increased that much that even on Rs 1050 per 40 kg of wheat, the farmers would earn lesser than the previous year.

Last year the wheat procurement price was Rs 950 per 40 kg and farmers even earned better and this year the price would be Rs 100 higher and the masses would pay more to mitigate their hunger but the growers would earn lesser at the same time.

If the trend of increasing cost of production sustains, farmers would revisit their thought about sowing wheat next year and the country that is already not supposed to be food secure, can face food crisis.

The government must have to cap input prices if it really wants Pakistan a food secure country, the officials said. But the policies of the government on the other hand are totally opposite as the government even has imposed General Sales Tax on agri inputs in a country where most of the people are unable to pay for the prevailing prices of food.

Worldwide the governments try to keep stable food price low as that declare a country food secure or insecure otherwise. But in Pakistan flour price rises every 6 months from several years, making the lives of masses miserable.