Pakistan facing net wheat deficit of 2.37 million metric tons, says food minister

ISLAMABAD [Pakistan], Jan 28: Pakistan National Assembly member and Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema in a statement during question hour in the upper house of parliament said that Pakistan at present is facing a net wheat deficit of 2.37 million metric tons, pointing to the country’s wheat shortage, according to The News International.
While responding to a query in the upper house, he said that the current year’s deficit was calculated after re-verifying carry-forward stocks and the total existing stock position. He stated that the total wheat available in the country this year was 28.42 million tonnes, wheat productionwas 26.389 million tonnes, and carry forward stock was 2.031 million tonnes.
Similarly, national requirements were 30.79 MMT, resulting in a net shortfall of 2.37 MMT, The News International reported.
At present, Pakistan is facing its worst-ever flour crisis with parts of the country reporting a shortage of wheat and stampedes reported from several areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
Tens of thousands spend hours daily in the cash-strapped country to get the subsidized bags of flour that are already short in supply in the market, according to a report in The Express Tribune.
Chaotic scenes are often witnessed as people gather around vehicles pushing each other as the mini-trucks and vans escorted by armed guards go about distributing the flour. A number of clashes have been reported at flour dealers and tandoors
Prices of wheat and flour have skyrocketed amid the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported. (ANI)