THE assurance by Federal Minister for Information Sherry Rehman, that surplus wheat supply will be ensured, indicates that the government has drawn some correct conclusions from the last year's wheat crisis. The measures suggested by her includes fixing the support price at Rs 950 per 40kg to growers across the country, procuring 6.5 million tonnes of wheat for the current season and increasing the number of procurement centres. However, it is equally important to fix the release price for the flourmills. The last year's wheat crisis owed in large part to the monopoly of these flourmills, that wanted to enforce their own pricing formula in the market. The situation had deteriorated to such an extent that in many parts of the country a nan was being sold at Rs 8. The government would have to make special efforts to reverse the trend. It would have to clamp down on hoarding and smuggling, other serious problems affecting the price. Large quantities of wheat are smuggled into Afghanistan and even into the Central Asian Republics. Not only that. Its intra-provincial movement is not regulated. Meanwhile the government should not ignore the problems faced by the growers. Not only are they short of resources, but also jute bags (bardana) remain in short supply and the prices of fertilizers unconscionably high. In many cases, wheat gets infected either by pests or rain. There is need to spread the network of farm-to-market roads and make adequate transport available to enable the farmer to get the benefit of the support price.