ISLAMABAD -NA Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research on Tuesday was informed that over 205,000 tons of wheat seeds would be required to tackle with the needs of the farmers of flood affected areas in the country.

The committee, which met here with MNA Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan in chair, discussed the matters relating to revival of agriculture sector and overcoming the devastation caused due to recent flash floods and torrential rains. The meeting also deliberated on the arrangements so far made for the sowing of Rabi crops, particularly cultivation of wheat in flood hit areas in the country as wheat was the major cash crop and vital source to fulfill the dietary needs of local population.

Meanwhile, senior officials of Ministry of National Food Security and Research briefed the committee about the arrangements made for wheat sowing in flood hit areas in the country and other steps which were being taken to revive local agriculture sector after devastation of flash floods and torrential rains. It was further informed that government was preparing a special package of incentives for wheat growers of flood hit areas to restore and revive the agriculture in these areas, adding that the package would have special focus on enhancing area under wheat cultivation. Besides, it was also proposed to provide one bag per-acre DAP to farmers of the affected areas as an amount of Rs80 billion would be required to execute this scheme, which would ensure proper intake of fertilizers during the season in areas that were affected due to floods.

The committee apprised that the provincial governments would also have to pay their 50 percent share in this subsidy scheme and the package of incentives for flood hit areas would be presented before Prime Minister for approval.

Meanwhile, Secretary Committee Rao Ajmal Khan directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to take immediate steps for ensuring the availability of all agriculture inputs during Rabi season, particularly for the farmers of flood affected areas in the country.

He also directed the ministry for ensuring adequate supply of certified seeds of wheat to growers in order to bring maximum area under wheat cultivation to fulfill the local requirements of staple grains. The meeting also directed the federal and provincial governments to take immediate measures to ensure provision of all agricultural inputs to farmers, particularly the farmers of flood hit areas in the country to ensure time sowing of different crops to maintain food safety and security in the country. 

Among others, the meeting was also attended by the senior officials of Ministry of National Food Security and Research and its allied departments including Pakistan Agriculture Research Council and others.