The federal government on Wednesday decided to increase the minimum wheat procurement price by 14.3% to Rs1,600 per 40 kilograms and also agreed to give subsidy on fertilizers aimed at increasing farmers’ income.

The decision to increase the prices was taken during a subcommittee meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). It has been decided to increase the minimum wheat support price from Rs1,400 to Rs1,600 per kg, an increase of Rs 200 or 14.3%.The rates are for next wheat crop but it will set the trend in the market.

At this price and with an average 28 maunds per-acre output, the farmer will get additional benefit of Rs 5,600 per acre.

It was also decided in the meeting that Rs 1,000 subsidy would be given on a di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer bag, Asad Umar, the minister for planning and development, had moved the subsidy proposal to reduce the input cost of the farmers.

However, the subcommittee was unable to agree on the mechanism for the DAP subsidy. The proposal of giving DAP subsidy through scratch card and through the food security ministry were also discussed. However, it decided to setup another committee to agree upon a mechanism for giving the DAD subsidy, the official said.

The government has decided to increase the support prices to incentivize farmers to produce more crop, as the country, for the first time in over 12 years, faces a shortfall due to its sheer mismanagement.