Because of the extensive devastation caused by the record-breaking monsoon rains, Punjab is currently experiencing a severe wheat shortage.
According to sources, the recent floods in the districts of Rajanpur and Fazilpur completely squandered 300,000 tonnes of stored wheat, putting the province on the verge of a bread catastrophe.
To overcome the current scarcity, the Punjab Food Department has already written to the Federal Government to request quick approval for the import of 1 million tonnes of wheat.
Due to the province-wide lack of wheat, flour costs have increased dramatically, placing a strain on residents who are already struggling under the greatest inflation in over five decades.
Asim Raza Ahmed, the chairman of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA), cautioned that if the current situation is unattended to, Punjab may experience a catastrophic flour shortage.
The daily wheat allotment for Punjab is currently 16,700 tonnes. After the floods, the province’s demand increased to 25,000 tonnes. The Federal Government was urged by the PFMA Chairman to promptly enhance Punjab’s wheat quota.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security was briefed by representatives of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) last month regarding the losses of stored crops as a result of the floods. They disclosed that damage to wheat worth billions of rupees had occurred all over the nation.
Separately, a report released last month by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) revealed that the country’s total crop losses have surpassed Rs. 320 billion.
The research noted that 2,845,046 acres of cropland in Sindh have either been fully or partially damaged, 14,397 acres have been lost in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 108,295 acres have been lost in Balochistan. However, it is important to note that Punjab’s level of damage was not disclosed in the MNFSR report.