Wheat Prices Down in Punjab After Ghandam Scheme

The wheat farming community in Punjab, Pakistan, is currently grappling with a significant downturn in prices, spurred by the implementation of the Ghandam Scheme. This initiative, while aimed at stabilizing grain prices and ensuring fair returns for farmers, has inadvertently led to a sharp decline in wheat prices across the region. Let’s delve into the details of this development, its implications, and the demands being raised by farmers in response.

wheat price

Impact of the Ghandam Scheme on Wheat Prices

  • Forced Selling Below Minimum Support Price: Farmers in Punjab are facing the distressing reality of being compelled to sell their wheat produce below the government’s minimum support price (MSP) of Rs. 3,900 per 40 kg. Reports indicate that farmers are fetching prices as low as Rs. 3,200 per 40 kg, well below the MSP.
  • Pressure from Private Buyers: Adding to the woes of farmers, private buyers are offering marginally higher rates, averaging Rs. 3,600 per 40 kg. However, this still falls short of the government’s mandated MSP, exacerbating the financial strain on wheat growers.
  • Wholesale Market Decline: The ripple effect of the price crash is evident in the wholesale market, where rates have plummeted below the MSP threshold. This downward trend underscores the severity of the situation and the urgent need for intervention.

ahesaas wheat

Factors Exacerbating the Crisis

  • Delayed Wheat Procurement Campaign: Compounding the issue is the delay in the commencement of the wheat procurement campaign for the 2024-25 season by the Punjab Food Department. This delay has left farmers vulnerable to market fluctuations and forced them to offload their produce at distressingly low prices.
  • Weather-Induced Damage: Recent inclement weather, characterized by unseasonal rains and windstorms, has further compounded the challenges faced by wheat farmers. The adverse weather conditions have not only affected grain quality but also jeopardized harvest output, exacerbating the economic strain on farmers.

Farmers’ Demands and Advocacy Efforts

  • Call for MSP Revision: Wheat farmers in Punjab are calling upon the government to reassess and potentially raise the minimum support price to mitigate their financial losses and ensure a fair return on their investment.
  • Procurement Target Adjustment: Farmers are advocating for an increase in the wheat procurement target, citing the need to stabilize falling grain prices and safeguard their livelihoods. The proposed doubling of the procurement target is aimed at addressing market imbalances and providing farmers with a more favorable selling environment.

Advocacy and Future Prospects

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Stakeholders, including Pakistan Kisan Ittehad President Khalid Khokhar, have been actively engaging with authorities to address the concerns of wheat farmers. Khokhar has highlighted the urgency of addressing farmers’ grievances and has called for collaborative efforts to formulate effective solutions.
  • Long-Term Planning Imperative: The current crisis underscores the need for long-term planning and policy interventions in Pakistan’s agriculture sector. Farmers’ demands for fair pricing, procurement targets, and input cost reduction highlight the necessity for comprehensive reforms to ensure the sector’s sustainability and resilience.

When will the wheat procurement campaign commence?

The wheat procurement campaign is set to begin on April 22, with procurement centers operating across Punjab.

What is the minimum support price for wheat?

The government’s minimum support price for wheat is Rs. 3,900 per 40 kg.

How can farmers apply for gunny bags?

Farmers can apply for gunny bags through the Bardana app until April 17 to facilitate the procurement process.

Conclusion

The current downturn in wheat prices in Punjab underscores the pressing need for concerted action to support the farming community and ensure the sustainability of the agriculture sector. As stakeholders continue to advocate for policy reforms and fair pricing mechanisms, the resilience and perseverance of Punjab’s wheat farmers remain integral to the region’s agricultural landscape.

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