December 11, 2022

The heat wave and the floods have dealt a severe blow to the agricultural sector: PBF – Business & Finance

KARACHI: Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Vice Chairman Ahmad Jawad said the country’s agricultural sector is in turmoil.

The cotton crop and vegetables are completely wiped out in many key areas. The wild weather just can’t give us a break. First the heat wave, now the floods.

He said we had a month. If the water is not drained during this period, there will be no wheat planting in Sindh province, which would be a big blow to the country’s food security issues.

“Each delay in affected communities’ access to agricultural production inputs and livestock protection services means that more households will lose their livelihoods and enter a vicious cycle of food insecurity and food aid dependence. “.

Similarly, in addition to the loss of lives, homes and livelihoods due to flooding in Pakistan, the unprecedented monsoon rains have also damaged crops on more than one million hectares of land, including the province of Balochistan, where 13,000 organic and in-conversion cotton farms are located.

Jawad said these crops so precious to local communities are now submerged by flood waters, which in addition to the overall national disaster is also a huge setback for the work of the Organic Cotton Accelerator in Pakistan, which aimed this year to tailor its agricultural program to specific regional needs to lay the foundations for growth in organic farming and the cotton trade.

From now on, six to seven million bales will have to be imported to support our textile sector.

However, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis (July 2022), of the 1.9 million people in need of food security and agricultural assistance in the affected districts, nearly 510,000 people are just one step away from catastrophic food levels. insecure.

The numbers are expected to rise further as the impacts of the disaster continue to force vulnerable households to deplete their productive assets in order to meet their most immediate needs.

The planting season of Rabi (October-December), which accounts for 57 percent of national grain production, is fast approaching and the window of opportunity to support Pakistani farmers and their communities is limited.

He further estimated that Pakistan may face shortage of wheat in the coming days due to devastating floods and importing wheat will increase the financial burden on foreign exchange reserves and next year the Pakistan will continue to import wheat as 2023 is likely to be a wheat shortage year for Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022