Wheat is Pakistan‟s most important agricultural crop, which is grown by about 80 percent of all farmers, and covers close to 40 percent of the total cultivated area. Wheat production in marketing year (MY) 2012/13 (May/April) is forecast at 23.0 million tons, down five percent from a record production level of 24.2 million tons. The forecasted production level is almost at par with the average of last five year‟s production. The projected decrease in production is due to a reduction in crop area, reduced availability and use of irrigation water and production inputs and low rainfall pattern. The 23.0 million ton production forecast represents potential production and assumes no further deterioration in the condition of the crop before harvest scheduled to begin in April. The Government of Pakistan raised the procurement price for the current year‟s crop from Rs.950 per 40 kg ($276/ton) to Rs.1050 per 40 Kg ($292/ton) but the farmer‟s organizations still maintain that the increase in the procurement price is not in line with the increase in input prices. The previous government procurement price for wheat was set during MY 2009/10 at Rs.950 per 40 kg ($276/ton), and was maintained at that level for the 2010 crop and for the 2011 procurement season (April-June). Area harvested is three percent lower than last year and is estimated at 8.66 million hectares. Wheat area harvested by province is shown in Table 1. Wheat area harvested is witnessing a declining trend and has decreased by five percent during the last two years. Government reluctance to raise the procurement price in accordance with the increase in input prices and recent trend of early sowing of cotton (February-March) are the main reasons for the reduction in the planted area for wheat. Wheat Area Harvested by Province
Province| Area (Million Hectares)| Percentage of Total Area| Punjab| 6.509| 76|
Sindh| 1.047| 12|
KPK| 0.725| 8|
Baluchistan| 0.381| 4|
Total| 8.662| 100|
The use of fertilizer during the 2011/12 wheat crop season registered a declining trend due to shortage of urea and high cost of phosphate...