Sunday, 25 January 2015

WGA urges government to form 'Commodity Export Board'

Wheat Growers Association (WGA) welcoming the government decision of allowing export of wheat and wheat products by giving a subsidy of Rs 6 billion has proposed that the government should constitute a 'Commodity Export Board' with the representation of public and private sector on it which should take decisions of export of any agricultural commodity in future.

Wheat Growers Association (WGA) President Chaudhry Hamid Malhi while talking to Business Recorder here on Saturday said that though they welcome this decision of the government but still it was untimely and delayed. He said that we should have taken this decision some months back when the rates of wheat were high in the international markets. He proposed setting up of a board which should take a decision in such matters instead of solely by the government. He said when the government decides exporting wheat it takes time to reach the summaries to the top slot for getting a nod and some time decision came at a delayed and wrong time as happened in case of wheat.

He said Pakistan's wheat is far better than other countries in standards and quantity of gluten is also high in our wheat as compared to wheat of other countries. He said this helps making a 'chapati' easier. He said whenever wheat is imported from abroad our millers use 90 per cent of the local wheat otherwise flour produced by imported wheat could not be used for making 'chapati.' He said as Pakistan was not present in the international market as exporter so there are no benchmarks for our wheat in that market or an additional price.

He said that Pakistan should take a decision to export at least 400,000 to 500,000 tons of wheat every year as it would help developing high priced market for a higher standard wheat, Malhi was of the opinion. Malhi, a progressive farmer of wheat and rice, said that we can fetch better price for our wheat as we fetched in case of our rice. Other rice is sold at US $450 per tons while our Basmati rice is sold at US $1400 per tons. He said that Pakistan should target those markets where 'chapati' is taken as they could give us premium price for our wheat.

He also proposed that the Board should be constituted with representation to private sector on it which should decided when to export our agricultural commodities, in what quantity and in which markets to get premium price. Constant export could create better demand and premium markets for our special wheat, Malhi concluded.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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