Farmers’ plight continues as wheat prices crash in Punjab

LAHORE: Due to the extreme decline in wheat prices in Punjab province and the absence of purchasing from the Food Department, farmers are forced to sell their grain for much less than the government’s minimum support price.

Farmers are being compelled to sell their harvest for as little as Rs3,200 per 40 kg, in opposition to the stated minimum support price of Rs3,900 per 40 kg. Private purchasers have been offering farmers a maximum price of approximately Rs3,600 per 40 kg. The official wholesale price of wheat, which is being compiled by the provincial government, shows a substantial fall in the price of fresh wheat.

Wheat prices in South Punjab have plummeted to less than Rs3,900, even in the wholesale market, according to the official price list of agricultural commodities for 12 key marketplaces dated April 15, 2024. In Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur, the average wheat pricing decreased to Rs3,850 and Rs3,680 per 40 kg, respectively. It indicates that wheat is being bought on the open market from farmers for less than Rs 3,200.

READ MORE: Kissan Ittehad appeals govt to buy maximum wheat from farmers

The Punjab Food Department has not yet started the 2024–25 wheat procurement campaign. Beginning on Saturday, April 13, farmers are requested to apply via the Bardana app for the issuance of gunny bags. Applications for bardana will be accepted on the PITB app from April 13 to April 17. Bardana will be distributed starting on Friday of next week on a first-come, first-served basis.

Meanwhile, recent rain has damaged standing crops in the province in scattered places. Rains in April used to be lesser. However, unusual rains and gusty winds destroyed standing wheat crops. The drastic weather change not only affects the quality of grains but it tends to reduce output as the harvest is likely to be affected.

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