Farmers assail govt for 'flawed' agri policies, food inflation.

LAHORE -- Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Jamshed Iqbal Cheema along with some farmer leaders held a press conference here on Tuesday to blame the federal government for the difficulties being faced both by the farming community as well as general consumers due to hike in production cost of various crops and resultant food inflation in the country.

Mr Cheema said food inflation remained 36.2 per cent in October in the country against 10pc in the rest of the world.

He claimed that the food inflation would be up 25pc in Pakistan contrary to 3pc in other countries next year.

The basic reasons, he said, was an upsurge in the prices of farm inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, and tractors since the regime change in the month of April earlier this year.

He said that di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) was used 48pc less, phosphorus compost 41pc, potash 36pc and urea 9pc less during the outgoing Kharif season as compared with the usage in the previous year's same season.

The reduced use of fertilisers and other inputs has led to cut in crops overall production as well as per acre yield, he added.

He quoted the Federal Committee on Agriculture as estimating a cut of 35pc in cotton and rice, 10pc in moong, 3pc in maize, and 9pc in sugarcane yield.

Mr Cheema said agriculture and transport sectors both were hit by the high tariff of diesel, which was consumed 20pc less by the farmers for fear of further increase in the production cost.

Notwithstanding the fact that sugar mills were controlled by the provincial governments, he regretted that the federal authorities...

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