Federal Minister for National Security and Food Research Fakhar Imam said on Saturday that the country has achieved record production of wheat, rice, corn, onions and legumes this year.

He said at a press conference that the country produced 27.3 million tonnes of wheat this year, while wheat production last year was 25.3 million tonnes, marking an8% increase from last year.

Despite record Wheat production, there remain a shortage as domestic demand is estimated at 29.5 million tons as compared to estimate of 27.5 million tons last year.

“This is a wheat production record in the country’s history, as the country used to produce 26 million tonnes of wheat,” he said, adding that the main reason for the increase in wheat and other crops was the use of high quality seeds, the use of the surveillance system, recent support package by federal government and favourable weather conditions. In response to a question, he said 5.4 million tonnes of wheat have been procured so far.

According to him, corn production remained at a record level of 8,645 million tons, while last year the country produced 7.88 million tons of corn.

The country produced 8.41 million tonnes of rice this year, which is also a record, adding that the country has also seen a 21% increase in potato production.

To support the decline of cotton production in the country, the government has donated 6 billion rupees to the governments of all the provinces to provide farmers with cotton seeds, fertilizer, etc.

The government has set a cotton production target of 10.5 million bale for this year, adding that agriculture has been neglected in the past and “we need to regain our lost position in cotton production through modern research and technology. “We also track and monitor high-quality seeds,” he said.

He said exports of mangoes and citrus fruits had increased and the country had exported 141,500 tonnes of mangoes and 46,200 tonnes of citrus fruits this year.

According to him, this year the export of rice increased by 11 percent and potatoes – by 28 percent.

To control the large edible import accounts, the government plans to focus on increasing soybean production in the country. The current government also plans to develop floriculture and also focus on organic farming to support the country’s exports.

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