Cultivation of wheat crop major challenge for farmers: experts


ISLAMABAD: The experts on Saturday warned that the cultivation of strategic wheat crop would be a major challenge for the farmers due to low water availability in the Rabi season.

A group of experts told media here on Saturday that the Rabi season in the country begins from October 1 and concludes on March 31 each year.

The main crops of Rabi season include food staple wheat, gram, lentil, tobacco, rapeseed, and barley.

Owing to predominantly irrigated nature of the farming, Pakistan’s agricultural output is closely linked with the availability of irrigation water.

According to expert, Khan Faraz from Hayatabad, Peshawar, water availability in the Rabi season is likely to be 25 percent less than average usage, largely because of lower river flows during Kharif that could not fill up the Mangla Dam.

Hence, it is feared that cultivation of strategic wheat crop could be a challenge for the farmers.

This year flows of Jhelum and other western rivers including the mighty Indus River have been below normal.

Impounding of river Indus water into Tarbela Dam to its highest storage level has become a reality unexpectedly very late.

In view of this, there is a dire need on the part of the concerned authorities to give a thoughtful consideration to the matter, so that the agricultural Rabi crops, especially wheat, might not receive a set-back on this account, the expert added.