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Meeting of Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA), performance of Kharif Crops (2018-19) reviewed and production for Rabi Crops (2018-19) planned

Islamabad (11th October 201...............) The High Powered Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) meeting for Rabi (2018-19) was held on 11th October, 2018 at the Committee Room, P Block Auditorium under the Chairmanship of Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, Federal Secretary for National Food Security & Research. The meeting had participants from Provincial Agriculture Departments, State Bank of Pakistan, ZTBL, National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC), Pakistan Meteorological Department, Indus River System Authority and senior officers of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research. Chairman PARC, D.G. NARC and heads of Ministry’s attached departments viz., Agri. Policy Institute, Federal Seed Certification & Registration Dept., Pakistan Oilseeds Development Board, Department of Plant Protection, Federal Water Management Cell and Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) also participated in the meeting.

The Committee reviewed the performance of the Kharif crops (2018-19) and production plan for Rabi crops (2018-19). The Committee also discussed the situation of agricultural inputs for Rabi crops (2018-19). The Committee was informed that sugarcane production for 2018-19 is estimated at 68.25 million tons from an area of 1115.27 thousand hectares. It is observed that the target area and production of sugarcane fixed by FCA as per first provisional estimates achieved. The Rice production for 2018-19 is estimated at 7.1 million tons from an area of 2826 thousand hectares. The area and production is slightly increased as its target fixed by previous FCA.  The Maize production for 2018-19 is estimated at 5.5 million tons from an area of 1194.6 thousand hectares. Production achievements of major and minor crops like wheat, Gram, Potato, Lentil, Onion, Tomato and chilies were also discussed in the meeting. The Committee has fixed the production target for Rabi (2018-19). The target for wheat was fixed at 25.6 million tons on an area of 8.8 million hectares.  The FCA also proposed that provinces should focus on oilseed crops and pulses cultivation to reduce the import bill. For Rabi 2018-19, IRSA advisory committee has anticipated short fall of 38%. During the Rabi season provinces are allocated 23.322 MAF of water. Prevailing weather conditions are not promising and shortage may exceed. However position will be reviewed in the first week of November, 2018. It was further informed that the shortage of water will be managed accordingly.

Meteorological department informed that monsoon rains from July to September, 2018 remain 33% below average in the country. The significant decrease in rainfall was observed in Balochistan and Sindh region where it remained 54% and 88 % below normal respectively. Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan also received 17% and 21% less than long term average rainfall, respectively.The weather outlook for the period September-November, 2018, is expected that amount of rainfall will remain slightly below normal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, central & lower Punjab and Sindh province.

The representative from State Bank of Pakistan informed that during the financial year 2017-18 banks achieved the target of Rs 972.6 billion against target of Rs 1001 billion. Total 3.7 million borrowers were served during 2017-18 by 50 commercials banks, micro finance banks, Islamic banks and other micro finance institutions. Agri Credit Advisory Committee set a target of Rs 1250billion for the year 2018-19. As of August, 2018 banks achieved a target of Rs 121 billion which is around 10% of overall target. The FCA also noted that the supply of Urea and DAP fertilizers was satisfactory for 2018-19 Kharif Season. The supply of Urea will remain comfortable during Rabi season 2018-19 due to enhance of local production and import during the Rabi season.

(Maqbool Shahbaz)
Director (PR&P) PARC
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