$129m saved as local pulse production rises

Published October 24, 2020
Residents buy food items at Jodia Bazar, Karachi, in this June 1, 2016 file photo.—AFP
Residents buy food items at Jodia Bazar, Karachi, in this June 1, 2016 file photo.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: The country succeeded in saving $129 million as import substitute by producing more pulses during the year, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) said on Friday.

The country produced an additional 76,000 tonnes of mung and 53,000 tonnes of gram as compared to last year.

The production of mung was 132,008 tonnes in 2019 whereas this year the production increased to 208,006 tonnes, showing an increase of 57.1 per cent.

Mung is grown in irrigated areas, with greater concentration in Khushab, Mianwali, Bhakkar and Layyah districts. There is a great potential in central Punjab and Sindh to intercrop mungbean with spring plant sugarcane.

According to the ministry, production of gram increased by 53,000 tonnes this year and has been confirmed by the provincial crop reporting departments.

Gram is the largest rabi pulse crop accounting for 71.4pc of the total pulses production in the country. Gram — which occupies about 81.6pc of the major pulse cropped area – is grown mainly in Thal area and contributes about 80pc to the production. The production of gram remained 11.43 more than the previous year while area increased only by 0.8pc.

For the current rabi season, the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has fixed the target for gram at 27,000,000 tonnes from an area of 9,210,000 hectares.

This year, record production of rice was reported at 8.18m tonnes from an area of 3.3m hectare showing an increase of 10.39pc. Exports of rice are likely to increase as the country produced 780,000 tonnes more rice as compared to the previous year.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2020

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