Once District Food Authority in Gujranwala district failed to meet the sales target of procured Wheat, Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Service Corporation (Passco) took the charge selling wheat.
But it seems too late to be intervened……….
According to the officials in the food department, 440,000 unsold bags of wheat estimated worth of Rs1.43 billion was stored in private and official warehouses for the last two years. The provincial government was unable to establish effective policies and selling strategies that could get rid of the wheat stored for the last two years and now there is a great fear that stored wheat would soon become spoiled in the warehouses. The flour millers also hesitant to purchase old wheat yield fearing that it would cost them and incur huge loses.
However, Passco has introduced a new strategy to sell the wheat as quickly as possible by reducing the wheat prices from Rs.1300 to Rs.1280 per mound (40KG).
The Food department, however, immaculately failed to sell the wheat to flour millers according to the directions given by Punjab government. As per the target was given by Punjab government, the food department had to sell 1,150,000 bags of wheat in the given year whereas; the food department was only able to sell 50,000 bags, which is ridiculously 4.35% of target achievement.
The food department officials said the policies for selling wheat were difficult due to which the department failed to sell the wheat and meet the sales target.
However, Passco has started selling wheat to local flour millers after reducing the price and flour millers are now purchasing wheat.
Provincial Vice President of Punjab Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Gohar Saeed said in a statement, “The next yield of wheat storage is starting soon after four months and the food department is not able to sell the current stored wheat, all the 345 official warehouses and private warehouses are piled up with previous wheat yield.”
The food department officials said they had purchased 4,722,000 bags of wheat worth Rs.15.35 billion in Gujranwala division only during the last year out of which 4,672,000 bags worth Rs.15.19 billion are still sitting in the warehouses.