ISLAMABAD: Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) set cotton production target at 15 million bales while it said that sufficient water would be available in Kharif.
The high powered FCA mandated to oversee strategic measures for ensuring food security in the country, held its second biannual meeting on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Sahibzada Muhammad Mahboob Sultan, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research.
Besides participations of senior officers of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, the meeting was attended by the Provincial Agriculture Departments, State Bank of Pakistan, ZTBL, National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC), Pakistan Meteorological Department, Indus River System Authority and member, Food Security & Climate Change of Planning Commission of Pakistan.
While reviewing the performance of the Rabi crops (2018-19), the committee observed that wheat production for 2018-19 is estimated as on April 7, 2019 is 25.16 million tons from an area of 8.83 million hectares.
Coupled with the last year’s leftover stock of 3.0 million tons, the total availability of wheat will be about 28.16 million tons, which is well over and above the total national requirements.
The committee was informed that the gram production for 2018-19 has been estimated at 439,000 tons from an area of 943,000 hectares.
The committee also discussed the production achievements of other essential crops like lentil, potato, onion and tomato.
The FCA held detailed deliberations over the production targets for essential Kharif crops 2019-20 and FCA set cotton production target at 15 million bales from an area of land 2.89 million hectares whereas fix 7.43 million tons production target for rice over 2.88 million hectares of land.
The targets for other crops such as maize, mung, mash and chilies were also fixed.
The committee fixed the production target (2019-20) of sugarcane at 68.58 million ton over an area of 1.18 million hectares.
Pondering over the availability of agricultural inputs for Kharif crops (2019-20), the committee was informed that sufficient water will be available in reservoirs.
For the year 2019-20, the water availability in canals head will remain 108.67 million acres feet (MAF) as against last year which was 88.04 MAF.
At present all the provinces are getting their satisfactory supplies in the system.
Meteorological department informed that overall normal to slightly above normal rainfalls are likely to occur all over the country during the month of May.
However, based on gradual increase in air temperatures effective use of available water stocks is recommended.
The average temperature is likely to remain above normal throughout the country during the period. The expected rise in temperature during the next two months is approximately 1-2 degree Celsius.
The rise in temperature will accelerate the snowmelt in the Northern areas and subsequent increase in runoff in upper Indus region.
Based on seasonal rise in air temperatures, the prevailing drought conditions over Tharparker region of Sindh may also sustain with variable intensity during the months of April-May 2019.
The committee was informed that the availability of rice and maize seed will remain higher than the total seed requirement which would be 121.28 percent and 112.83 percent respectively.
The representative from State Bank of Pakistan informed that allocations of institutional credit for agriculture had substantially increased to Rs1,250 billion for 2018-19 and the disbursement up Feb-2019 is Rs701.6 billion which is 56.1 percent of overall annual target of Rs1,250 billion which is 23.1 percent higher than the disbursement of Rs570.9 billion made during last year.
The committee was informed that the new government has imposed agriculture emergency with around Rs290 billion projects for promoting agriculture growth in the next four years.