ISLAMABAD   -  Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) here on Friday was informed that cultivation and production targets of major Kharif crops including sugarcane and rice was achieved, whereas the production of both above mentioned crops had surpassed set targets for the season 2018-19.

The committee met here with Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai in the chair and reviewed the output of Kharif crops and fixed the targets for Rabi crop 2018-19.

The committee was informed that sugarcane production during current season was estimated at 68.25 million tons as the crop was cultivated over 1,115.27 thousand hectares. It was observed that the target area and production of sugarcane fixed by FCA as per first provisional estimates was achieved. The rice production for 2018-19 was estimated at 7.1 million tons from an area of 2,826 thousand hectares as the area and production is slightly increased.

The maize production during the season was estimated at 5.5 million tons from an area of 1194.6 thousand hectares. The committee has fixed wheat production target for 2018-19 at 25.6 million tons by cultivating the crop over an area of 8.8 million hectares to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as for exporting.

The FCA also proposed that provinces should focus on oilseed crops and pulses cultivation to reduce the import bill.

The Committee also discussed the situation of agricultural inputs for Rabi crops 2018-19 and water situation as IRSA advisory committee has anticipated shortfall of 38 percent water during the season.

During the Rabi season, provinces were allocated 23.322 MAF of water. The prevailing weather conditions were not promising and shortage may exceed, it was observed. However, it was further informed that the position would be reviewed in the first week of November, 2018, adding that the shortage of water will be managed accordingly.

Meteorological department informed that monsoon rains from July to September, 2018 remained 33 percent below average in the country. The significant decrease in rainfall was observed in Balochistan and Sindh region where it remained 54 percent and 88 percent below normal respectively. Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan also received 17 percent and 21 percent less than long term average rainfall, respectively.

The weather outlook for the period September-November, 2018, was expected that amount of rainfall will remain slightly below normal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, central and lower Punjab and Sindh province.

The representative from State Bank of Pakistan informed that during the financial year 2017-18 banks achieved the target of Rs 972.6 billion against target of Rs 1001 billion. Total 3.7 million borrowers were served during 2017-18 by 50 commercials banks, micro finance banks, Islamic banks and other micro finance institutions.

Agri Credit Advisory Committee set a target of Rs 1250 billion for the year 2018-19. As of August, 2018 banks achieved a target of Rs 121 billion which is around 10 percent of overall target.

he FCA also noted that the supply of Urea and DAP fertilizers was satisfactory for 2018-19 Kharif Season. The supply of Urea will remain comfortable during Rabi season 2018-19.