The prolonged dry spell would badly affect wheat crop especially in rain-fed areas of the country as the crop needed more water during those days, said agriculture experts and Meteorological Department officials on Saturday.
A senior official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research while talking to Business Recorder said that at present wheat crop was at a growing stage and desperately needed water. The ongoing dry spell was creating moisture stress in the air and disturbing the nurturing of the crop, he said.
The official said long dry spell would badly affect wheat crop in rain-fed areas and if the dry spell continued for long the country would miss its output target by at least one million tons.
Dr Muhammad Hanif of Pakistan Meteorological Department when contacted said that dry weather conditions were likely to prevail in most parts of Sindh and southern Punjab during the current month. However, he said light rain was expected in some parts of the country by the end of that month while heavy rain was expected in February.
He said “we have advised farmers of irrigated areas to irrigate the crop as per requirements due to dry weather prevailing in most of the irrigated agricultural plains of the country.” According to the Meteorological Department during the next 48 hours mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. Foggy conditions are likely to prevail over plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during morning hours.
The Met Department also advised farmers that falling leaves from trees negatively affected standing crops like wheat therefore farmers should collect leaves around the crops as early as possible so that the crop’s normal growth might not be disturbed. The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) in October last year fixed wheat production target at 26 million tons for 2015-16 from an area of 8.980 million hectares.
Out of 26 million tons, Punjab will 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, Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP) 1.4 million ton 0.75 million hectares and Balochistan 0.9 million tons from an area of 0.4 million hectares. The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) on November 30, 2015 decided to maintain wheat support prices for 2015-16 at last year’s level of Rs 1300 per 40 kg.
News source: brecorder