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Pakistan to Have up to 2 MLN Ton of Wheat to Export
Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Alhaj Sikandar Hayat Bosan said on Tuesday it is expected that some 1.5 million tons to 2 million tons wheat would be available for export in the next fiscal year.

However, final figures of wheat for availability of exports would be finalized by ECC next month.

Talking to newsmen here, the minister said that wheat production for the current fiscal year is estimated at highest-ever in the history of the country at 23 million tons against the target of 22.5 million tons fixed for the current fiscal year.

This indicates six per cent improvement in the wheat production of 21.7 million tons in the last fiscal year.

He said the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has fixed ambitious production targets of cotton, sugarcane, rice, maize, moong, mash, and chillies for the Kharif crops 2007-08.

He said that cotton production target is fixed at 14.14 million bales from an area of 3.26 million hectares for the next fiscal year.

The production of cotton in the current fiscal year was estimated at 13 million bales and the new target would be over and above this level by 1.14 million bales in the next fiscal year.

He admitted that current target of cotton production could not be achieved due to poor weather. However farmers got good price of their produce and ginned cotton touched the highest rate of Rs.2850 per maund.

He said that production target for sugarcane for the next fiscal year has been fixed at 54 million tons from an area of 1.015 million hectares against the estimated production of sugarcane of 52.9 million tons in the current fiscal year 206-07 projecting an increase of 1.1 million tons in the next fiscal year.

The production target for rice has been fixed at 5.72 million tons for the next fiscal year against estimated production of 5.42 million tons in the current fiscal year, projecting an increase of 0.3 million tons.

The production target for maize crop has been fixed at 3.2 million tons for the current fiscal year. Production target for moong is fixed at 162,000 tons from an area of 262,000 hectares.

Elaborating on the water situation in the country during Kharif crops 2007-08 (April-September) period, he said that water availability prospects are quite encouraging, and anticipated provincial allocation shares stands at 76 million acre feet (MAF) which would be much higher than last year's Kharif water allocation of 63.10 MAF.

He also said 2.7 million tons urea would be available and consumption of 2.5 million tons of urea is expected during Kharif crops 2007-08, leaving a surplus of approximately 200,000 tons.

He said that FCA noted with satisfaction performance of Rabi crops 2006-07, especially the record production of wheat and potatoes crops as per first estimates available with the meeting.

Gram production has been estimated at 846.5 thousands tons against the last years achievement of 479.5 thousands tons projecting an increase of 76.5 per cent. The production is 20 per cent above the set target of 706.5 thousands tons. Production of lentils estimated at 24.24 thousand tons against the last year achievement of 17.9 thousand tons showing an increase of 35.4 per cent. This production is 9.2 per cent higher by the target fixed for this fiscal year. The potato production is estimated at 2.43 million tons against the last year's achievement of 1.5 million tons projecting an increase of 55 per cent.

About the credit availability, he informed that for fiscal year 2006-07, agriculture credit had been fixed at Rs 160 billion (US$2.6 billion) and disbursement during July-February was recorded at Rs 92 billion. This shows 14 per cent increase in disbursement, as compared with the same period of last year's disbursement of Rs 81 billion.

Replying to a question on overall growth in the agriculture sector in the current fiscal year, the minister hoped that this would be over and above the target of 4.5 fixed for the current fiscal due to excellent performance of wheat and other crops.

He also disclosed that a ten-year census of livestock sector is being finalized and its results would be released soon.
MGR Archive 13.4.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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EU Prices Baldo €660
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