Incumbent identifies certified wheat seed

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – October 1, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The national food security and research (NFSR) minister Syed Fakhar Imam disclosed, Wednesday, that the incumbent has identified certified wheat seed for the first time to secure ample wheat production.

According to an official statement, NFSR minister Imam said this during the wheat review committee (WRC) meeting regarding fixation of minimum support price (MSP) and other related issues.

The incumbent is thinking on following immediate actions like enhancement of MSP of wheat crop 2020-21, provision of good quality seed, enhancement of the quantity of certified seed through certification system, provision of basic agricultural inputs at affordable prices, ensuring requisite fungicides, spreading awareness for the cultivation of yellow rust resistant varieties.

The wheat plan is based on pillars like the cost of production, MSP, release price and procurement/release price, availability of agricultural inputs, productivity enhancement (especially the vertical production), introduction of disease and drought tolerant varieties, improvement in sowing methods (in lines instead of broadcasting), balanced use of fertilisers, international/local wheat prices, import and export parity and food inflation.

The committee has decided that all provinces will send proposals for support prices of wheat at earliest.

After which the MSP will be approved by the economic coordination committee (ECC) and the cabinet.

The federal seed certification and registration department (FSCRD) mentioned this year that 515,000 tonnes of seed have been certified.

And for the back up, FSCRD has tested 200,000 tonnes of seed from Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), out of which 60,000 tonnes of seed has 75 percent germination matter and has up to three percent inert matter.

150,000 tonnes seed has been tested from Punjab food department for emergency.

The mechanism for procurement of seed has been devised by FSCRD and will share the standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the provinces. Wheat is the staple crop and pillar of food security in order to meet 80 percent of the dietary needs with 38 percent share in calorie intake.

It accounts for 8.9 percent of the value added in agriculture and 1.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The federal government announces the MSP as well as the wheat procurement through PASSCO and provincial food departments. It has been used as an incentive to the vulnerable segments and to fulfil commitments with the international community.

The Punjab agriculture minister Hussain Jahaniya, agriculture secretary and senior officers from agriculture and food departments of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) attended the meeting.