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PM Shehbaz regrets country on verge of ‘food catastrophe’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed regret over the fact that Pakistan, an agricultural nation, was on the verge of a food catastrophe due to the absence of thorough preparation regarding maintaining wheat stocks during the previous four years.

On Tuesday, while presiding over a meeting to assess wheat stocks, the prime minister stressed the importance of ensuring buffer stockpiles of wheat together with their release till the following harvest.

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He said that Pakistan, an agricultural nation, was on the verge of a food crisis as a result of the previous administration’s lack of planning.

He stated, “By not developing adequate arrangements for addressing the demand and supply of wheat, injustice has been done to the 220 million people.”

The prime minister instructed that “buffer stock should be ensured concurrently with the discharge of wheat till the following harvest”. In order to guarantee both quality and quantity in the import of wheat, he also instructed that assistance from foreign advisors be sought.

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The country’s expected wheat production was disclosed to the meeting as being 26.389 million metric tons (MT), whereas the reserves for the previous year were 1.806 million MT.

Additionally, it was informed that the overall reserves would be 28.199 million MT, compared to the 30.79 million MT national demands.

The administration has already resolved to use the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to import wheat in a timely way in order to close the supply-demand gap .

The prime minister emphasized that importing wheat at the lowest cost will save the government money.

The meeting was informed that the second bid for 300,000 MT of imported wheat saved $34.54 per MT in accordance with the ECC resolution.

The PM also praised the efforts made by the Ministries of Commerce, Food Security, and other relevant Ministries to import wheat at a discount.

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