ISLAMABAD    -     National Assembly special committee on agricultural products has urged the government to set the minimum support price for wheat for the year 2019-20 at Rs1400/40kg.

The meeting of sub-committee of the National Assembly special committee on agricultural products, chaired by convener sub-committee Syed Fakhar Imam, was held on the directions of the Speaker National Assembly.

The MNAs from opposition in previous National Assembly session had raised concerns on minimum support price for wheat, minimum indicative price for sugarcane, negative growth of cotton, outstanding power bills against the farmers and increase in farmers’ electricity bills.

The members of the committee expressed disagreement with the suggested minimum support price of Rs 1350 by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. They stated that the farmers across the country demanded upward revision of the minimum support price for wheat. 

The convener of the sub-committee Syed Fakhar Imam stated that wheat was vital to Pakistan’s national food security. He said that the price mechanism was a viable policy instrument to promote crops according to the national requirements. He stated that cotton was vital to Pakistan’s export earnings and edible oil requirements.

The members of the committee said that decline in cotton production would adversely affect the agro-based Pakistani economy. Fakhar Imam underlined the need for marked improvement in agricultural technology and seed variety to boost the farmers’ profitability and productivity. He urged the government to aggressively pursue linkages with other countries for agricultural cooperation.

The committee urged the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to tackle the recent locust attack on war footing basis as the locust may potential destroy miles of crops in a single day. The Committee directed Ministry of Power to brief the committee on the upward surge in electricity bills due to increase in fuel price adjustment in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah Tiwana, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur and officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and agriculture departments of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respectively.