QUETTA: Balochistan Minister for Food Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetiran on Saturday inaugurated a wheat procurement centre at the Food Directorate.

Speaking on the occasion, he said for the first time in the history of the province a procurement room in line with modern requirements had been formally launched.

He said such initiatives played a vital role in making the wheat procurement in the province more transparent and in taking pre-emptive measures to solve issues like food security.

The minister said the target was to buy one million tonnes (100,000 sacks) in the current financial year.

He said there was a difference in the support price of wheat between the provinces while it was under the control of the central government. The price has been fixed at Rs1,650 which needs to be kept at a reasonable level so that all stakeholders get direct benefits, he added.

He said the issues like food security were being monitored at all levels while cheap flour sale points had been set up at various places in the province in August last year.

“Our production this year is 9.8m sacks and we need 15m sacks,” Mr Khetiran added. “About 70 per cent of our wheat and flour needs come through traders from Sindh and Punjab,” he said.

The minister said the provincial government had introduced new protocols in the food department which had yielded far-reaching results.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2021

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