The recent dry spell followed by rains forecast from Thursday (tomorrow) will have a positive impact on all the Rabi crops, especially wheat that stands over an area of 8.99 million hectares in the country.
A senior official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research told Business Recorder that at present wheat crop was at booting stage and required a rain shower at that stage, therefore the ongoing weather system and rains would prove beneficial for the crop.
He said expected rains would also meet the water requirements of other seasonal corps including gram pulses, barley and mustard. Rain would enhance the wheat output especially in rain-fed areas contributing nearly one million tons of wheat, he said. Dr Ghulam Rasoul of Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) said that a new westerly wave was likely to approach upper parts of the country in the next few days that would produce light and moderate rains in Malakand, Hazara divisions, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
Under the influence of the new weather system, scattered rain with snowfall over the hills is expected in Islamabad, North Balochistan (Quetta, Kalat, Zhob & Sibbi divisions), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), FATA, Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sahiwal divisions), Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (from January 28 to January 30).
He said isolated light rain was also expected in southern Punjab (DG Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur divisions) during the period. Rasoul said rain-fed areas of Punjab and KP might receive good rain that would be very beneficial for the standing wheat crop. According to PMD, during the next 24 hours cloudy weather conditions are likely over upper parts of the country. However, light rain (with light snowfall over the hills) is expected in Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Rawalpindi divisions, Islamabad, upper FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Foggy conditions would continue over most plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during night & morning hours.
The Federal Committee on Agriculture in October last year fixed wheat production target at 26 million tons for 2015-16 from an area of 8.99 million hectares. Out of 26 million tons, Punjab is projected to produce 19.5 million tons from an area of 6.68 million hectares, Sindh 4.2 million tons from an area of 1.15 million hectares, KP 1.4 million ton 0.75 million hectares and Balochistan 0.9 million tons from an area of 0.4 million hectares.
Source: Business Recorder