KARACHI - The country has imported $724.419 million wheat during seven months (July-January) of current financial year 2008-09. According to official statistics, the import of wheat during July to January of current fiscal was $563.096 million higher against the import of the commodity in the same period of last fiscal when the country spent $161.323m on the import of staple food. Meanwhile, the nation has consumed $39.953 million imported wheat only in January of this fiscal. Despite being an agriculture country, Pakistan had been draining over $5 billion every year on the import of food items and the import of food group was increasing every year. The official statistics depicted that the country spends second highest amount of around $5 on imports of food items, as import bill of petroleum products dominate almost 25 per cent of total imports of the country. So far, the imports of food group have reached $2.260 billion in seven months of current FY09 against $1.831 billion of same period of last FY08. According to analysts, the country's annual production of wheat was sufficient to fulfil the consumption needs of the country annually but due to lack of proper handling and other problems the country faces shortage of the commodity every year. Analysts attributed the mismanagement at governmental level for handling of wheat and its movement which leads to the hoarding of the commodity. Pakistan has great potential to grow more wheat and other food crops which could become source of earning of foreign exchange revenue, an agriculture expert said, adding, but it needed support of the government and subsidies. Besides, official statistics showed that palm oil dominates the imports of food items as country spent $901.738 million in seven months of current fiscal against $814.540 million of same period of last fiscal. Similarly, the import of milk and creams reached $43.724 million during July-January of FY09 against $44.771 million of corresponding period of last FY08. In the other items of food group, country spent $32.285 million on the import of dry fruits, $118.137 million on tea, $32.365 million on spices, $19.515 million on soybean oil, $10.544 million on sugar and $95.875 million have been spent on the import of pulses during seven months of current FY09.