Following the recent severe floods in several parts of the country, the federal government has begun the process of importing an additional 500,000 metric tonnes of wheat to address its shortage.
For the purchase of wheat, the Pakistani Trading Corporation has already released a contract.
International wheat providers are asked to submit tender documents through November 28.
On the same day, sealed bids would be opened.
Wheat import bids are being accepted from December 16, 2022, until February 8, 2023. Additionally, it has been agreed to reject any offers for less than 100,000 metric tonnes.
The loss of farms caused by the floods, according to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, may force Pakistan to purchase a million tonnes of wheat.
In a long interview with a foreign news outlet, he stated, “It can come from Russia, but the country is open to other offers.”
“The country also needs fertiliser because factories involved in their production are closed,” he continued.
According to the Prime Minister, one-third of Pakistan’s area has been drowned by flooding, which has likely been made worse by global warming, and 33 million people there are now struggling to survive.
Before the floods hit in the middle of June, Pakistan was already struggling with severe problems like grain shortages and increasing crude oil prices, which were mostly brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the war that followed.
One aspect of grain purchases touches on one of Pakistan’s most fundamental problems: the country’s relationship with its neighbor India.
The prime minister said that there was “a legal bottleneck” in Kashmir that prevented the prospect of purchasing grain from India in the event that it was necessary.
“India is a neighbour, and Pakistan would very much like to live like a peaceful neighbour with India,” the Prime Minister stated.
“But that has certain prerequisites. India has to understand that unless and until the burning issue of Kashmir is resolved through peaceful talks … like peaceful neighbors, with the sincerity of purpose, we will not be able to live in peace,” he continued.
The federal government decided the decision to provide the provinces with 1.5 million tonnes of wheat in the same month in order to alleviate the shortage caused by the disastrous floods.
It gave its approval for the shipment of wheat to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and Sindh.
When intermediaries and hoarders stocked up on it to drive up prices during the PTI administration, the country’s wheat crisis had already begun.
Another factor that caused wheat flour to vanish from the market was extensive trafficking to Afghanistan.
The administration has been trying to create strategic reserves in order to deal with any wheat shortfall the nation may experience, keeping in mind the situation encountered in the past.
Saeed Ahmad Nawaz, the managing director of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), claimed that the government warehouse’s wheat storage had been harmed by the rain and flooding.
“However, wheat fit for human consumption has been successfully separated from the damaged stock and is now being supplied,” he stated.
“Due to the current situation, food security may remain a matter of concern in the coming months. The high prices of urea, electricity, and other inputs have discouraged farmers to sow wheat,” he briefed.