LAHORE – Rains have caused heavy losses to wheat, canola, gram and sunflower crops in the country though it has also provided some benefit to the sugarcane crop.

Chairman Agri Forum Pakistan Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal claimed that the recent spell of rains has also devastated cotton crop on over 25,000 to 30,000 acres of land and farmers have to sow their land again.

Talking to the newsmen on Saturday, he claimed that recent spell of rains has devastated around 1.3 million maunds of wheat, 200,000 maunds of canola, 50,000 maund of gram and 15,000 maunds of sunflower crops.

Ibrahim Mughal said that meteorological department had predicted rains at the end of the March, which would have been beneficial for all the Rabi crops, but unfortunately these delayed and landed in mid of April. These rains not only delayed the harvesting of Rabi crops but also delayed the sowing of Khareef crops including cotton. While growers had to sow their land again in areas where cotton had already been planted, causing loss of millions of rupees to the growers, he added. He claimed that cotton this year would be sown on an area of 8.5 million acres and rice on an area of 6 million acres. Sugarcane would be sown on an area of 2.6 million acres of land, he added.

Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman urged the government to help the growers who had suffered loss due to recent spell of rains and bring down the prices of fertilizers to half and exempt agricultural tube wells from loadshedding so as to ensure timely sowing of Khareef crops as 80 per cent of the exports from Pakistan also rely on two important crops namely rice and cotton.