Islamabad, March 18, 2014 (PPI-OT): The 6th meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) was held here under the Chairmanship of MNA Malik Shakir Bashir Awan to discuss, review and formulate strategy for procuring wheat during the upcoming wheat crop.
The members of the Standing Committee directed Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) officials to follow a transparent procedure for wheat procurement during the current season and ensure fair distribution of wheat bags to redress the problems of small farmers.
The meeting was held in the PASSCO Head Office, Lahore, which was also attended, among others, by Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for MNFSR and Seerat Asghar, Secretary MNFSR.
Earlier, Lt-Col ® Raja Muhammad Younis, Acting Managing Director PASSCO, gave a detailed briefing to committee members about the role of PASSCO in maintaining strategic reserves of wheat for price stabilization and to timely meet wheat needs in areas where required.
MD PASSCO also laid out current year’s wheat procurement strategy for the coming crop of wheat. He also apprised that federal government had set wheat procurement target of 1.6 million metric ton for the year 2014 and the department would provide all needed facilities to farmers. During the briefing, the committee members also gave their inputs to make the procurement procedure more lucid and efficient.
During the course of meeting, the Standing Committee members stressed that maximum wheat procurement should be made from small landholders in order to boost up their income. The Committee members stressed on providing maximum wheat bags to small farmers, a minimum of 16 bags per acre, and they also directed the PASSCO officials to increase the number of procurement centres in order to facilitate small farmers in every possible way during the process.
Speaking on the occasion, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Federal Minister for MNFSR stated that steps are being taken to ensure a transparent procurement process. The minister further stated that he had also directed PASSCO officials to devise a comprehensive farmer-friendly strategy during the process.
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