WAH CANTT  - The persistent prolonged dry spell has rendered standing wheat crop in Taxila and adjacent areas of this Potohar region vulnerable to a slow growth and disease attacks causing great resentment among the farmers.

As an unexpected dry spell is posing threats to the standing wheat crop in Taxila, Wah Cantt and Hassanabdal which is un-irrigated (arid) area has exposed thousands of wheat growers to threats of recording losses due to non availability of water.

Talking to this scribe, farmers of arid areas said their standing wheat crop desperately needed water, adding that continuation of dry spell for a couple of more weeks would negatively affect the growth, causing them huge financial losses. They said that barani areas of Potohar region have so far recorded no showers in December to the misery of wheat growers in the areas dependent on rains for crop irrigation. Some farmers and wheat growers said wheat sowing campaign started in the arid areas of this area of Potohar region mostly during last week of October or begging of November. Farmers fears that if the current dry spell prevails for two or three weeks it would badly affect the wheat production in the area.

It is to mention here that almost 90 per cent of land in the district is arid and depends on rainfall for yielding.  Tahir Suleman, a farmer of the area said that an abundance of soil moisture in rain-fed and irrigated lands had helped seeds to germinate, but pesticides or fertilizer could not be applied to plants at an advanced growth stage without adequate presence of water in soil.

Proper moisture is required in the Barani areas after wheat sowing but this time winter rains have not started even after two months, said Shoukat Ayub, Chairman Kissan Council. He added that first half of December had passed without rains, causing worry to growers, who depend on showers to irrigate crops. He said that wheat crop faces dual threats of disease and low production. He said that on the call of local religious leaders, farmers and other people are offering special prayer for rains on a daily basis.