Rs1.43b wheat feared to rot in warehouses

SIALKOT –  The Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Service Corporation (Passco) has started the sale of the procured wheat to the flour mills after the failure of the District Food Authority to achieve the target of wheat sale in Gujranwala Division.

The Food Department officials have revealed that 440,000 unsold bags of wheat worth Rs1.43 billion were stored at the official and private warehouses for the last two years. They added that there were high fears that the big quantity of wheat yield would soon be rotted due to “unsuitable” wheat selling policies given by the Punjab government. Due to which, the flour millers were reluctant to purchase the old wheat yield. The region is the hub of wheat and producing the best quality wheat.

Now, Passco has reduced the selling price of the wheat yield from Rs1,300 to Rs1,280 per mound (40kg) following the prevailing situation in the local market.

The Food Department remained failed in selling the bumper wheat yield to the flour mills as per the directions given by the Punjab government. The Punjab government had given an official target of sale of 1,150,000 bags wheat to the Food Department during current year. However, the Food Department could sell only 50,000 bags of wheat.

When contacted, the officials said that the Food Department’s policies for selling wheat were difficult due to which the department had failed to achieve the sale target.

Passco has started selling wheat yield to the local flour mills after reducing the wheat prices with bags due to which the purchasers most of them the flour millers are moving for purchasing wheat.

The rate of the wheat yield has increased to Rs1,330 per mound  with an increase of Rs30 per mound in the local open market, but the Food Department could not jazz up the pace of its wheat’s selling.

According to Provincial Vice President of Punjab Flour Mills Association Gohar Saeed, the wheat procurement for the next season will begin in the region after the four months and the Food Department still remains unable to sell out the last season’s wheat yield. All the  345 official and private warehouse owned by the Food Department have already been filled with wheat yield here in the region.

He expressed grave concerned over the lack of proper planning for selling out the wheat to the flour mills by the Punjab government. Food Department’s officials said that it had purchased 4,722,000 bags of wheat worth Rs15.35 billion in Gujranwala Division during the last season and out of which 4,672,000 bags of wheat worth Rs15.19 billion were still lying kept in the godowns.


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