ISLAMABAD - The wheat output in the country during the current season is likely to reach over 28.86 million tons, which would further help in cementing the efforts of the government to achieve sustainable agriculture growth and economic development. Wheat cultivation relies heavily on irrigation water, so the ample water supply as reported by IRSA along with record planting areas indicated the potential for another strong harvest during the crop season 2024-25, said Imtiaz Ahmad Gopang, Food Security Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
However, the actual production outcomes will depend on factors such as growing conditions and accessibility of essential inputs particularly fertilizers, he told APP on Wednesday. Additionally, weather patterns in March and April are crucial for the grains’ development and maturation will significantly impact the final output, he added. He said that according to the provincial crop reporting services, wheat production for the Punjab province was forecast at 23.50 million metric tons, and Sindh at 3.3 million metric tons respectively.
Meanwhile, the output for the provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan was expected to reach at 1.474 million metric tons and 21.274 million metric tons respectively. Imtiaz Ahmad said that owing to the incentives introduced by the government, wheat sowing in the country during the current season (Rabi 2023-24) increased by 7.5 per cent as compared to the crop sowing of the corresponding period of the last year. During the period under review, wheat sowing had been completed over 23.69 million acres as against the set targets of 22.22 million acres, he said, adding that the wheat crop has been sown across more than 23.69 million acres of land in various crop-growing regions during the current season to meet local staple food requirements and maintain strategic reserves throughout the year.
The wheat cultivation targets fixed for the period under review were achieved by 107 per cent as crop sowing in two major grain-producing provinces Sindh and Punjab gained momentum as both the provinces surpassed their assigned targets for the current season, he added. He said that the post-flood phenomenon in Sindh has also contributed to massive wheat sowing as adequate moisture in fields during crop cultivation supplemented the overall area under wheat production, the farmers also switched over from oil seed to wheat crop for its better rate of return.
Meanwhile, Punjab which has 76 per cent shares in total wheat sowing has achieved 109 per cent as against its sowing targets due to a well-coordinated wheat cultivation campaign during the season, he added. He said that the crop sowing has gained momentum across the wheat-producing areas in the country as Punjab province has completed wheat sowing over 103.09 per cent of areas as against the set targets for the current season. The Punjab, which is the largest wheat-producing province in the country, has completed crop sowing over 16.48 million acres compared to the fixed targets of 15.99 million acres during the current season.
Sindh province has achieved 106.66 per cent of its targets as wheat cultivation in different divisions of the province was completed over 3.16 million acres as against the set targets of 2.97 million acres, he said and added that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also achieved wheat sowing targets by 100 per cent and crop cultivation was completed over 1.93 million acres as compared to the set targets of 1.93 million acres during the current sowing season. He informed that according to the Provincial Crop Reporting Services, the Balochistan province has achieved 100 per cent of wheat sowing targets set for the current season. In Balochistan the wheat crop was cultivated over 1.93 million acres, he said, adding the province was assigned a task to grow wheat over 1.33 million acres during the current season.