Minister vows to address farmers’ issue

FAISALABAD: Rana Tanveer Hussain, the Federal Minister for National Food Security, committed to possibly expanding the wheat procurement goal to assure reasonable compensation for farmers, demonstrating the government’s commitment to extensively support wheat producers.

On his excursion to the PASSCO Center on Nia Lahore Jhang Road last Saturday, he mentioned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s serious concern over the farmers’ inability to obtain gunny bags (Bardana), despite direct governmental orders to kick off the buying campaign.

He guaranteed that all harvested wheat would be purchased and the farmers’ interests would be fully protected.

He outlined that the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation Limited (PASSCO) was instructed to strategize a thorough approach for the maximum wheat acquisition from growers in an equitable, transparent, and honest manner. Thus far, 88,000 applications were submitted to PASSCO, 1,500 of which were confirmed, initiating the procurement phase, he disclosed.

He also noted that PASSCO launched procurement hubs in 13 tehsils within Punjab, ensuring necessary amenities for wheat producers and addressing their concerns.

The minister optimistically stated that despite adverse climate conditions, Pakistan reaped an impressive wheat harvest this year, which should not only fulfill local food necessities but also potentially permit export of the surplus.

The government has resolved to present fertilizers at subsidized prices to enable farmers to afford crop-related expenses with ease, he continued.

During his visit to various sectors of the PASSCO Center, Rana Tanveer instructed the staff to treat the farmers respectfully and to acquire their wheat in a fair and clear-cut process, asserting that any negligence or financial misconduct would be unacceptable.

Emad Nazir Ahmad, the PASSCO Managing Director, enlightened the minister on wheat procurement activities. He explained that PASSCO dispenses gunny bags to registered growers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a daily basis.

He detailed that growers are entitled to 8 bags per acre and can acquire a maximum of 100 bags. The distribution of bags follows a “first come, first served” principle after cross-checking registration and land records.

According to him, growers can receive their bags upon a security deposit of Rs.530 per bag through various payment methods, while the center also charges Rs.40 as delivery fees for each 100 kg bag.

Information regarding these procedures is visibly displayed at all PASSCO acquisition centers, and growers can seek additional assistance via PASSCO’s toll-free number, Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Zonal Head, Project Manager or Center Incharge, he concluded.


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