Sialkot: Punjab government’s fixed official wheat procurement target is feared not to be achieved by the Food Department in Gujranwala Division due to the growing trend of establishing housing colonies on agricultural lands and rising prices of the oil, seeds and cost of cultivation. This nasty practice has also resulted into the reduction in the under cultivation areas due to which there would be the less production of per acre wheat yield in this region, a hub of producing bumper wheat yield.
The concerned officials said that the establishment of private housing colonies on fertile agricultural lands has grown to a great extant due to which the under cultivation areas have reduced in region, as the cultivators, growers and farmers , motivated by the property developers, were also preferring to sale out their fertile agricultural lands on the lucrative packages.
Reportedly, the property developers were offering the big profits to the land owners cultivators and farmers for selling their lands to them for developing the private housing colonies there in their fields in Sialkot, Daska, Uggoki, Sambrial, Pasrur, Satrah, Shakargarh, Narowal, Wazirabad , Ghakhar Mandi , Gujranwala, Tatley Aali, Eimanabad ,Kamonki, Nowshera Virkan and surrounding areas. The thousands of the acres of the agricultural lands have been converted into the housing colonies and even in the industrial factories there. Last year, the Punjab government had fixed an official target of wheat procurement as 434000 matric tons, out of which 427233 matric tons (worth of Rs. 12.85 billions) and the 97 percent target was achieved during the last year in Gujranwala Division. When contacted, Deputy Director Food Gujranwala Division Ch. Naveed Ashraf told the newsmen that the food department was making all the necessary arrangements to ensure the in time start of official wheat procurement at the official centers fixed by the Punjab government. He pledged to leave no stone unturned to achieve the fixed official wheat procurement target.