Rice output exceeds while cotton and sugarcane miss targets

KARACHI - The output of rice had exceeded the target while the production of other major crops cotton and sugarcane missed the target in last Kharif season of financial year 2007-08, official sources told The Nation on Wednesday. These statistics of targets and achievements of Kharif crops of FY08 and FY09 were presented in the meeting of Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Livestock (MINFAL) held in Islamabad on Tuesday. The four Agriculture Ministers, Secretaries, senior officials of IRSA and concerned ministries of federal government attended the meeting.   The statistics of achievements and targets of last Kharif season of FY08 available with The Nation disclosed that the total output of rice was achieved at 6.54m tons in all over the country which is 0.8 million tons more than actual target of 5.72 million tons. The REAP, a body of rice exporters had claimed that the production of rice will be over 7m tons as the prices of this commodity has shot up in local market which attracted the growers to grow more rice. Similarly, minor increase has been witnessed in the output of maize as total production of this commodity achieved at 3.34 million tons against target of 3.28 million tons for last Kharif season of FY08. Meanwhile, a huge decline of 2.1m tons was witnessed in the production of cotton as total output of this crop was registered at 12m bales against target of 14.1m bales for last Kharif season of FY08. According to official statistics, the total production of sugarcane was 53 million tons which depicted a huge decline of 3.5m tons against target of 56.5m tons in last Kharif season. While, federal government has also set target of production for various crops of upcoming Rabi season of this financial year, starting from 1st November. The Federal Committee on Agriculture, setting 25 million tons production target of wheat for this year unveiled its Rabi season plan which emphasized on a nation-wide campaign of 'grow more wheat'. It may be noted here that the total output of wheat was achieved at 22.5 million tons in last season of FY08. Keeping in mind of severe crisis of wheat shortage during PML-Q led coalition of last regime, the present PPP-P government has already increased the support price of wheat to Rs950-40kg which is Rs325 more than last year's support price of Rs625-40kg. The shortage of water, fertilizer and pesticides will be main obstacles in achieving of wheat production target of 25 million tons in upcoming season, commented an official of Sindh agriculture department. Meanwhile, in other crops, 0.65 million tons production target for gram, 6.20 million tons for potato and 2 million tons production target has been set for upcoming Rabi season of FY09.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt