Food dept told to ensure availability of wheat in remote areas

Wheat, fertilizer prices go up amid post-flood crisis

Zar Alam Khan

Without any tangible help coming from the government in the wake of the devastating rains and floods, people in most parts of Upper Chitral are facing an acute shortage of seeds to cultivate wheat in October and November.

To compound the miseries of the populace hit hard by the floods and unprecedented rains in July-August, the government has increased the prices of wheat and fertilizer. 

Talking to ChitralToday, the owner of a wheat sale point in Yarkhun said Rs1,600 had been added to the price of the 100 kg wheat which was earlier available at around Rs5,000.

Similarly, sellers from down districts are providing DAP fertilizer at Rs13,500 per 50 kg bag to local shopkeepers, he added.

It has been learnt that at present godowns and sale points in Yarkhun and Laspur have no stock of wheat which is provided by the food department. 

Abdul Nasir Khan of Bang told ChitralToday that the godown in his village had not been supplied wheat this year while the left-over wheat of the old stock was of poor quality. 

He said local people depended on the food department’s wheat to meet about 60 to 70pc of their yearly requirement but this year the local production further decreased due to the inclement weather.

In areas north of Pavur, the situation is even grave as crops were destroyed in the farmlands before they could be harvested. 

He said people were also short of fodder for their cattle this year and many of them were planning to sell the animals at throwaway prices. 

Another major issue is unavailability of seeds with farmers, especially in upper parts of Yarkhun. 

Azam Khan of Yarkhun expressed the fear that a severe shortage of wheat in many villages as their crops got spoiled in the rains. Moreover, the locals on upper Yarkhun have no fodder for their animals.

In the current situation, the flood-affected people need support from the government departments in terms of getting seeds and availability of food items.

Delaying the supplies would further aggravate the situation as the snowy winter is approaching, said the locals.


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