Special Correspondent, Islamabad
Feb 28 - Mar 05, 2000

On the basis of wheat production which is pegged at 17.85 million tons from 1998-99 crop, the shortfall at the rate of 124kgs per capita per annum consumption comes to 1.24 million tons. However, on the basis of wheat consumption calculation by different age groups gives a shortfall of figure of 1.552 million tons.

On the other hand, marketing of wheat production is not regulated by the government. Therefore, above shortfall figures cannot be taken for guidance with regard to exact shortfall. In order to avoid any mishap the basis is past experience and exact position in the public sector. For arriving at the availability of wheat in public sector wheat procured along with available stocks are compared with total releases up to date plus anticipated releases by the Provincial Food Departments to the flour mills. To this is added, requirement of Afghanistan and strategic reserve, in order to arrive at shortfall figures for present exercise to know where we stand. The shortfall in this case would be 2.328 million tons.

In Wheat Coordination Committee meeting held with the Provincial Food Secretaries on November 15, 1999 the entire wheat situation viz present wheat stock, releases made to Flour Mills from may to November 1999 anticipated releases from December 1999 to April 2000 was discussed. In the aforesaid meeting, Secretary Food Sindh pointed out that wheat required for alien population of 2.2 million in Sindh with transit population of 0.8 million comes to 0.372 million tons which was not taken into consideration in their wheat requirement. NWFP Food Secretary also placed additional requirement of 0.186 million tons for 1.5 million Afghan Refugees who are being catered from the government stocks. Though there are another 0.2 million Afghan Refugees scattered in other parts of the country. Secretary Food Punjab pointed out additional wheat requirement of 0.272 million tons due to provision of atta to NWFP and Balochistan. Food Stamp and wheat supplies to Defence Forces etc. After taking into consideration these factors, the additional wheat requirement comes to about 0.83 million tons on the basis of 124 kgs per person per annum. If this demand is also added then short fall would rise to 3.158 million tons. Against this requirement, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has finalised import of 1.1 million tons wheat so far (0.7 million tons from Australia and 0.3 million tons from USA on commercial purchase basis and 0.1 million tons under PL-480 Programme of USA). Out of these imports a quantity of 0.550 million tons wheat has already arrived/despatched to the provinces/agencies.

Credit availability position

USDA has announced US $125 million for utilisation till September 30, 2000 which can fetch about 1 million tons wheat import from USA. In addition against an MOU for a supply of 1.5 million tons wheat import signed with the Australian Wheat Board this year, a further quantity of 0.8 million tons wheat could be imported from Australia. As such by using both these credit sources the remaining wheat import requirement of 1.3 million tons could be arranged easily.

Current stocks

Punjab currently has 1,716,959 tons of wheat for 1999-2000 against 1,421,634 tons last year. In Sindh 162,293 tons of wheat were available till the as at January 31st against 200,130 tons last year. Similarly in Balochistan 37,642 tons of wheat were available against 69,012 tons last year. In NWFP 142,031 tons of wheat were available against 130,258 tons during the corresponding period last year. In addition Pakistan Agriculture Seed Supply Corporation has 159,472 tons of wheat against 324,357 tons last year. So far as import of wheat is concerned, sources say the import bill has been reduced significantly. So far, 1.6 million tons of wheat has been arranged from abroad against 2.334 million tons in 1998-99.

Wheat supplies

As far as wheat released to flour mills during May and December last year, Punjab was given 1,172,000 tons against 1,247,000 last year. Sindh was given 869,000 tons against 806,000 tons last year, NWFP received 952,000 tons against 946,000 tons last year, Balochistan received 98,000 tons against 173,000 tons last year. The Northern Areas, Kashmir and defence Forces received 265,000 tons against 244,000 tons last year.

Weekly release of wheat to flour mills, till the week ended on January 22, mills in Punjab got 80,275 tons against 93,047 tons last year, Sindh got 40,310 tons against 49,023 tons last year, NWFP mills got 28,715 tons against 21,329 tons last year, Balochistan mills got 6,591 tons against 2,096 tons last year. Thus, a total of 155,891 tons were given to flour mills in all four provinces this year against 165,495 tons in 1998-99, showing a significant reduction of 9,604 tons in supply this year.

Wheat import Requirement during 1999-2000

(In Million Tons)

A. Requirement Actual Basis

Provincial consumption @ 124 kgs.

for Population of 134.510 million

(2.61% increase over last year)

AJK 0.240

Defence 0.200

Northern Areas 0.040

Afghanistan 0.300

Strategic Reserves 1.000

Seed, Feed, Wastage 1.785

@ 10% of production

Total: 20.244

B. Availability

Production from 1998-99 crop 17.850

Carryover stocks 1.156


C. Deficit (A-B) 1.238

D. Import arranged 1.100

E. To be imported (C-D) 0.138

Wheat consumptions requirement on age group basis

Age group Consumption Population Utilization Per

Capital per annum

(Year) (KG) (Million) (Million Tons)

0.4 17 19.673 0.334

5.9 50 21.088 1.054

10.14 140 17.437 2.44118

155.64 1755 71.929 12.587575

0.65 1255 4.622 0.57775


134.646 16.9932

AJK 0.240

Defence 0.200

Northern Areas 0.040

Afghanistan 0.300

Strategic Reserves 1.000

Seed, Feed, Wastage

@ 10% of production 1.785



Production 17.850

Carryover stocks 1.156


C- Deficit (A-B) 1.5552

D- Import arranged 1.100

E- To be imported further 0.4552

Working on the basis of available sotck offtake and strategic reserve

A. Availability Million Tons

i) Wheat carryover stock 1.156

as on 1.5.1999.

ii) Procurement from 4.070

Indigenous wheat



i) Actual releases by Provinces? 2.597

Agencies fro May-Nov, 1999.

ii) *Anticipated rleases from 3.657

Dec., 99 to April, 2000

Total releases for the 1999-2000 by

Provincial Food Deptts; to flour mills 6.254

iii) Provision for Afghanistan 0.300

iv) Strategic Reserve 1.000


Deficit (B-A) 2.328

Import of wheat already liedup 1.100

To be imported further 1.228

* Punjab Food Deptt; 15,000tons releases per day for 26 days a month

Sindh Food Deptt; 5,500

NWFP Food Deptt; 4,500

Balochistan Deptt; 1,000

Others (AJK, NA, Det) 1,5550

Total: 28,550