LAHOER - Farmers of Punjab have over 10 million tons of wheat available for sale from a total of around 20 million tons production. This is a quarter more than the raised procurement target of the two government departments. The Punjab Food Department had raised its target from 4 to 6 million tons while the federal governments Passco has increased its target to 2 million ton to be met from all over the country. To date the two departments have hardly achieved half of their targets and already feel overstretched due to lack of finances, gunny bags, storage capacity and insufficient human resource. This unbelievably high quantity available for procurement from farmers is quite plausible if compared with the neighboring Indian state of Punjab. Indian Punjab has produced in the current season 15.6 million tons of wheat. The six state departments assigned with procuring wheat have set a target of 11.5 million tons of which 10.6 million tons had been purchased till 6th May. The government experts have been calculating the tradable surplus in wheat as 30 percent of the total production. (The surplus is the quantity the farmers offer for sale after saving for home and sharing with others.) The procurement agencies use this figure to set their targets which helps stabilize the market at the government announced Support Price. A survey conducted recently by Punjab Lok Sujag and South Asia Partnership-Pakistan shows that the method to assess tradable surplus is flawed and that it is much higher than the official calculations for the current season. Wheat is not just another crop in our specific context. It is the main pillar of food security for millions of farmers and a huge number of landless and rural service providers also enjoy a share in it. The Sujag-SAP survey conducted; with the help of 11 other organizations interviewed 956 farmers in 168 villages to know how did they portioned their produce in the previous and the current season. The survey shows that farmers keep over 10 percent of their production for home consumption and a similar quantity is paid to the teams of harvesters. The 956 surveyed farmers had sold 64 percent of their produce in 2007-0 8. The shares in wheat crop of various partners are not constant in percentage terms. Crop reapers are paid in maunds (40 kg) of wheat per acre while threshers are paid a percentage of wheat produced. Share croppers get a fixed weight from each farming family. Quantity saved for home consumption depends upon number of persons in the family and remains constant whatever the production. These factors result in a varying portion offered for sale in each year. The survey shows that as the wheat production has increased due to increase in area under wheat and per acre yield in the current season, the market share in wheat production (tradable surplus) has accrued to 72 percent of the total production of surveyed farmers. See table 1 for more details The percentage shares are also not the same for all farm sizes. Small farmers produce just enough for family consumption so they have little or none to offer to the market. The tradable surplus naturally increases with the farm size. The survey shows that farmers with less than one acre of land sell no wheat while those with ito 2.5 acre of land sell just 14 percent of their production. In contrast farmers owning more than 50 acres of land sell 74 percent of their production. The survey sample does not represent all the farm sizes in exactly the same proportion as presented in Agriculture Census 2000. Using the weighted average method a very conservative estimate puts the tradable surplus at 48.7 percent of the total production or 9.6 million tons for the current season. The government is the only buyer in the market as low international prices and other local factors are keeping the private buyers away from the market. Though the government has set all-time-high procurement targets, they still fall short of the actual quantities available in the market. Only half way to their targets, the ill-prepared and low capacity procurement departments already find themselves overstressed and fatigued. Even if the departments fully meet their present targets, around two million tons of wheat will still be available for the private buyers who are in no mood to offer government-set support price to farmers. SAP-Sujag survey shows that the expected amount that will not be procured by the government departments almost equals the quantity being offered by the small farmers. This effectively means that around 2 million small farmers will be the likely victims of this poorly planned wheat season.