MULTAN – The unprecedented rain spells in the months of February and March have proved to be a blessing for the water-thirsty wheat crop in South Punjab and experts anticipate that the region is likely to harvest a bumper crop. Besides favourable weather, the under-cultivation area for the wheat has also increased as it has been sown on 6594000 acres of land this year compared to 6507000 acres last year.
“Keeping in view the crop condition, if the weather conditions remain favourable till harvesting time we are likely to harvest almost nine million tons from South Punjab,” anticipated Naveed Asmat Kahloon, Assistant Director Agricultural Information Multan Region, while talking to The Nation. He said that last year South Punjab region produced about 8.2 eight million tons of wheat and the target for this year stood at 7.5 million tons. “But the crop condition and weather situation are highly favourable and we’re hopeful that we’ll easily surpass the target.”
“The average wheat for Punjab province for the year 2017-18 stands at 31.70 maunds per acre while the same for the South Punjab region is slightly high as Multan division produced 36.18 maunds last year. However, this year we are expecting even higher average 40 maunds per acre in South Punjab,” he further explained.
Pakistan is one of top ten wheat producing countries of the world but it lags far behind from other countries when it comes to measuring the agricultural productivity. A recent report released by a business policy advocacy group Pakistan Business Council disclosed that Pakistan produces 62 per cent less wheat from one hectare than France, the country with world’s highest wheat production average.
Pakistan produces just 3.1 tons of wheat from one hectare compared to 8.1 tons produced by France. Wheat constitutes 60 per cent of daily diet of a common Pakistani and the country badly needs to boost its per acre production of this crop due to its ever-increasing demand because of fast growing population.