Wheat has been planted on 1.8 million acres less than the targeted area in the country, sparking fears that production will drop by two million tons, farmers say.
In Punjab alone, around one million acres cannot be sown with the crop as a result of high urea prices and poor government strategy, said Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal, Chairman of Agri Forum Pakistan in a statement.
He pointed out that unnecessary delay in sowing, low area under the crop and high fertiliser prices would badly hurt wheat production. Domestic wheat consumption was 25 million tons but the output could be around 23 million tons, Mughal said. He said the country had 5.5 million tons of wheat stocks, of which three million tons would be consumed by the time new crop arrived.
Mughal stressed that the country would have easily produced three million tons of surplus wheat and earned Rs75 to Rs100 billion had the government made timely decisions.