Farmers ask Sindh to begin wheat buying


Growers’ bodies have urged Sindh government to make wheat procurement centres operational forthwith, provide gunny bags, purchase 1.4 million tonnes from farmers and raise support price as all such steps will benefit and encourage farmers.

They said peasants had been harvesting wheat for the past two weeks, but the government’s procurement centres were still dysfunctional. The harvest time starts on February 20 and lasts until April 30.

They expected a bumper crop of over 5 million tonnes in Sindh because of favourable winter weather, proper water supply and other supportive factors.

Almost 4.8 million tonnes of wheat had been produced in the province last year. The government fixed the support price at Rs4,000 per 40 kg for the previous season and set a procurement target of 1.4 million tonnes but, according to the growers, it could purchase 1.3 million tonnes because private buyers used to pay higher prices ranging from Rs4,500 to Rs4,600 per 40 kg in the local market.

This year though the output has gone up, the government has reduced the procurement target and has also not scaled up the support price despite the skyrocketing food inflation.

“We demand that the government make wheat procurement centres operational by April 1, provide gunny bags, ensure payments and raise the procurement target to 1.4 million tonnes from the current 900,000 tonnes,” said Nabi Bux Sathio, Senior Vice President of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA).


He pointed out that the wheat support price of Rs4,000 had been fixed by the Sindh caretaker setup and endorsed by the Sindh cabinet a day ago.

However, the input cost of agriculture which included fertilisers, seeds, fuel and others outweighed the return on output this year, said Sathio.

He added that if the government had hundreds of thousands of tonnes in wheat stocks, it must be investigated why flour mills and Chakkis (smaller flour mills) were not provided the commodity a couple of months ago when flour prices shot up.

He emphasised that now flour mills and Chakkis would definitely demand fresh wheat.

“We reject the support price of Rs4,000 per 40 kg and demand that the government fix the price at Rs6,000 as well as ensure the provision of wheat flour at Rs75 per kg for the benefit of people.”

He was of the view that the government must set the support price in line with the rising inflation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *