ISLAMABAD - Bumper production of crops are expected in Kharif 2016-17, as officials have promised ample supply of water , abundant supply of urea and DAP, and an agriculture credit of Rs 600 million for farmers.

It was claimed at the meeting of Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) on Thursday that wheat production, this year, would be close to targets.

The committee, which met with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikander Hayat Khan Bosan in the chair, reviewed irrigation and weather position along with the production of Rabi crops (2015-16) and the production plan for Kharif crops 2016-17.

Indus River System Authority (IRSA) officials, on the occasion, informed that presently around 22 percent more water was available in reservoirs, as compared to the last year.

“Resultantly, water supply to the provinces has been increased from 67.100 MAF to 74.682 MAF,” they added.

They categorically stated that there would be no shortage of water in Kharif 2016.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted around 20 to 25 percent above normal precipitation in Central Punjab, Upper KP and Kashmir.

15-20 percent more rains have been predicted for Gilgit Baltistan, while 10 to 15 percent more rains are expected in some parts of Sindh.

Around 10 to 15 percent more rains are also expected in the cotton belt of southern Punjab, including Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and Bahawalpur.

Moreover, the Met Office has also predicted positive temperature anomalies to prevail over the country, during the season, from April-June 2016.

The meeting was told that availability and supply of urea and DAP fertilisers was more than the demand; hence no shortage of fertilisers was feared during Kharif 2016-17.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials informed the meeting that an agriculture credit worth Rs 600 billion had been arranged for disbursement to the farmers through various banks.

The committee was also told there was adequate quantity of certified seeds of various crops.

The committee noted with relief that supply of pesticides for 2016-17 Kharif season would remain satisfactory.

The committee was informed that 25.45 million tonnes of wheat produce was expected from an area of 9.17 million hectares in 2015-16; close to the target (25.84 million tonnes).

It was further told that production of Gram in 2015-16 was estimated to be around 306.0 thousand tonnes, from an area of 944 thousand hectares.

It was also informed that the production target, set for the potato crop for 2015-16, had been achieved at 3853.4 thousand of tonnes, whereas the production targets of maize, chilies and masoor were also achieved.

The committee fixed the production target of the sugarcane crop for 2016-17 at 67535 thousand tonnes, from an area of 1125 thousand hectares, compared to last year’s production 65035 thousand tonnes, from an area of 1137 thousand hectares. The target of rice crop, for 2016-17, was fixed at 6838 thousand tonnes, from an area of 2794 thousand hectares.

The target of maize crop, for 2016-17, was fixed at 4607.3 thousand tones, while that of Mung crop, for 2016-17, was fixed at 111.4 thousand tonnes.

The meeting was attended by representatives from provincial agriculture departments, Pakistan Meteorological Department, State Bank of Pakistan, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd, National Fertiliser Development Centre (NFDC) and senior officers of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.