ISLAMABAD-Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) on Wednesday was informed that cotton output during the season 2023-24 witnessed a bumper increase of 126.6 per cent and crop production was provisionally estimated at 11.8 million bales as it was cultivated on over 2.4 million hectares.
The FCA met here under the chairmanship of Caretaker Minister for National Food Security & Research Dr Kauser Abdullah Malik, whereas it was also attended by S.M. Tanveer, Minister for Agriculture, Punjab and Asif Rafiq, Minister for Agriculture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said a press release.
The Committee reviewed the performance of the Kharif Crops (2023-24) and the production plan for Rabi crops (2023-24), besides discussing the situation of inputs during the upcoming season. The committee was apprised that rice output during the season grew by 12.7 per cent as compared to the production of the same period of last year. It was informed that the rice production for 2023-24 was provisionally estimated at 8.64 million tons from an area of 3.35 million hectares showing an increase of 12.7% and 18% in area and production respectively over the last year.
Mung bean production for 2023-24 is estimated at 143.6 thousand tons from an area of 198 thousand hectares, showing a decrease of 9.2% in area however, an increase of 6.4% in production over the last year. Mash output was estimated at 5.28 thousand tons from an area of 7.36 thousand hectares, showing an increase of 12.95% and 24.65% in area and production respectively over the last year. The chilli production during the season was estimated at 1.36 thousand tons from an area of 122.1 thousand hectares. The committee has fixed the production target for the Rabi crop and the target for wheat production was fixed at 32.12 million tons by cultivating the crop on an area of 8.9 million hectares. Whereas, the production targets for gram, potato, onion and tomato were fixed at 410, 6330, 2494 and 666 thousand tons respectively.
The seed availability for Rabi crops was also discussed and it was informed by DG, FSC&RD that certified seed availability for the Rabi, 2023-24 will remain satisfactory. For Rabi 2023-24, the IRSA Advisory Committee has anticipated a shortage of water by 15% for Punjab & Sindh during the Rabi season. Provinces are allocated 31.66 MAF of water. Prevailing weather conditions are supportive and the shortage is manageable. The Metrological Department informed that overall, normal to slightly above normal precipitation is expected in most parts of the country particularly over northwestern regions.
However, slightly below-normal rains are likely over the plains of Punjab and Sindh during the month of October. It was also informed that the temperature may remain above normal in most parts of the country. The FCA was informed that in order to maintain food security in the country, the government was trying its level best to facilitate the farmers by providing inputs at affordable prices and is also making efforts to ensure better prices of their produce to bridge the gap between the cost of production and output price in favour of farmers.
In pursuance of the government’s agenda for the promotion of the agriculture sector, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has assigned an annual indicative agricultural credit disbursement target of Rs. 2,250 billion for fiscal year 2023-24 to 47 institutions, which is 26.7% higher than last year’s disbursement of Rs. 1776 billion. Accordingly, during July-August 2023 (FY 2023-24), the agricultural lending institutions disbursed Rs. 326 billion, which is 14.5% of the overall annual target and 44P« higher than the disbursement of Rs. 226 billion made during the same period of last year. The meeting was also informed that during up upcoming Rabi 2023-24 (November – December 2023) supply of urea and DAP is expected to remain stable.