The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had increased wheat support price by Rs35, from 1,365 per 40kg to Rs1,400 per 40kg. while the farmers valued the government for increasing the support price despite economic hardships, they maintained the said hike in support was “insufficient” for them.
Farmer from Muzaffargarh Ahsan Malik talked media that March spell of rain has bring disaster on wheat farms in Punjab and Sindh, leaving the farmers in trouble. Losses are enormous but the government announced Rs20 billion subsidy on electricity instead of giving relief for them.
He added that the government should fix wheat support price at Rs1,600 per 40kg, besides ensuring that the commodity was only bought at official rates. A farmer’s plight starts with the distribution of bardana or jute bags at official procurement centres.
He informed that wheat prices all over the world stood between Rs1,575-Rs1,600 per 40kg but the same was not in line with inflation and production costs in Pakistan.
Wheat farmer from Chiniot Malik, Syed Aqeel Haider said this Rs35 per 40kg increase in wheat support price was “peanuts” for farmers as this would hardly cover the costs they incurred during the wheat production process.
He informed that now it is about time for Pakistan to shift towards paradoxical agriculture, which was a conclusive sustainable agriculture production system developed on natural processes of soil fertility and vegetation. Adoption of this system would mitigate most of the challenges being faced by the country’s crops.
The farmers’ costs decrease by at least 70pc in paradoxical farming which reduces the use of fertilizer by 70pc in the first year and gradually diminishes it completely.
He said that the current crop production system evolved without the understanding of the natural algorithm of soil fertility and vegetation.
He criticized that in developed countries where farmers moved to paradoxical farming, they are getting more than 100 mounds per acre yield from wheat crop but unfortunately in Pakistan, our per acre yield is between 20-25 mounds per acre.
Pakistan Kissan Ittehad Chairman Khalid Maqbool told this scribe that the farmers were ready to provide wheat at the rate of Rs1,400 per 40kg keeping in view the purchasing power of the population.
He insisted that the government should ensure that flour is available for consumers at Rs40 per kg and not Rs80 per kg like previous year/months.
He urged the government to take strict action against hoarders and profiteers so that maximum facilitation could be extended to the consumers.
He suggested that the government should take measures to curtail the production cost of wheat farmers instead of increasing the wheat support price.