STAFF REPORT IBD: The government has missed the wheat sowing target by up to 2.5 per cent in the current Rabi crop season for the year 2012, sources revealed quoting the available statistics.

It is to be mentioned here that last year, the government had achieved 8.9 million hectares wheat sowing target for the year 2011 and the same was considered for the current year 2012. The initial estimates revealed that the wheat sowing target has been missed by 2.5 to 3 per cent, which might affect wheat production target set by the government at 25 million tons.

The wheat crop sowing target has been missed by 1.8 million acres only in Punjab, which may lead to reduction of wheat production to around 23 million tons against the target of 25 million tons set for the current year, the sources cautioned.

According to experts, main factors behind missing the sowing target are unnecessary delay in sowing; low acreage and high fertilizer prices what badly hurt the wheat production.

Besides, they mentioned that the farmers are facing severe problems while getting urea fertilizer across the country. On one side there is shortage of urea and on the other side the prices are very high, they maintained.

Presently, due to the ever rising prices of urea fertilizer prices, the farmers are losing interest in wheat.

Though the government has established the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, yet it is not fully functional and even operational budget has not been provided to it.

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