ISLAMABAD - Ministry of National Food Security and Research has formulated an agriculture incentive package for Rabi season 2020-21 to boost per-acre output of seasonal crops particularly wheat to achieve self sufficiency in staple food production to maintain food safety and security in the country.

In order to achieve the set targets of these major and minor crops during the Rabi season, the government was working and prepared a set of incentives for farmers to provide them agriculture inputs on subsidized rates during the season, said Dr Imtiaz Ahmad Gopang Food Security Commissioner of the ministry.

Talking to APP here on Wednesday, he said that the Rabi package would be comprised on subsidy on fertilizers, herbicide, pesticides for enhancing per-acre output of wheat and other crops, besides provision of certified seeds and subsidy on agriculture credit as well as other inputs during the season.

All the modalities of the package has been finalized and would be unveiled in next few days, he said adding that farming communities across the country would get benefit from the measures announce by government, he added.

Under the Rabi crops incentive package, he said that government would provide Rs32 billion as fertilizer subsidy and others pesticides to enhance output of crops during season.

He informed that wheat sowing was started in some areas of Sindh, however, it would be formally launched by second week of November across the province and in Punjab it would be started from 3rd week of coming month.

Dr Imtiaz said that Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department would provide about 513,000 tons of certified wheat seeds to farmers, adding that it was comprised 47 percent of total requirements.

He said that availability of certified seeds for farmers increased as compared the last year, adding that efforts were also on to enhance the capacity of public and private seed  sector to ensure availability of seeds.

Food Security Commissioner also rejected some reports which claimed that imported wheat had an negative impact of Rs2.5 billion to national exchequer and termed it  baseless.

He said that government had decided to import about 1.8 million tons of wheat to fulfill the demand and supply gap at the rate of  $268.837 per tons, adding that wheat was imported through three tenders and one government to government contract.

He said that if whole quantity of wheat which would be imported during the period of time calculated, it could not bring as much impact as it was reported. 

He said that government would get back the cost of imported wheat as the province had started to lift the imported wheat to tackle with local requirements, however he said that government would only bear the subsidy amount.