ISLAMABAD: The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) will meet today to set targets for Rabi crops, including wheat.

To be chaired by National Food Security and Research Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, the FCA will also set production targets for gram, lentil (masoor), onion and potato.

Pakistan produced 26 million tonnes of wheat in the Rabi reason of 2016-17.

The FCA will discuss measures to reduce the cost of production in view of a recent meeting that farmers and other stakeholders held with the prime minister.

For the past few years, the government has stopped the practice of announcing support prices for certain crops. The last support price announced for wheat was Rs1,300 per 40 kilograms.

The government is now focusing on reducing the cost of production rather than enhancing the support price, which is notably higher than the prevailing international market rates.

The meeting will also review the performance of sugarcane, rice, maize and chilli.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research will present a comprehensive review of the crop situation for both Kharif and Rabi seasons. It will also shed light on the availability of agricultural inputs and achieved targets.

The availability of irrigation water, agricultural credit, chemical fertilisers, particularly phosphate, improved and certified seeds and plant protection measures will also be reviewed during the meeting.

The FCA meets twice a year before the start of Kharif and Rabi seasons to take decisions on crop management.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2017

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