Peshawar – Climate change and high fertilizer prices have hurt the wheat harvest and led to a reduction of more than 30% in agricultural production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province this season, according to farmers and agricultural experts.
It is worth mentioning here that the spring season could not become visible this year because the heat wave hit the KP province in March. In addition, poor rainfall has resulted in a premature and weak wheat harvest this year.
Dr. Farhad Ali, a plant protection specialist at KP’s Directorate of Agriculture, told this correspondent that among all the regions in the country, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was the most prone to climate change.
“Rainfall patterns change rapidly in the province and crops are the most affected as they are exposed to the environment and climate more than anything else,” he explained.
Muhammad Diyar Khan, a farmer based in the town of Katlang in the rural district of Mardan, told this correspondent that his family normally produces 40 maunds of wheat per season, but this time they expected around 25 maunds from the harvest. .
“There was no rain from January to March, which seriously affected the harvest. Also, many people did not use urea because of its higher price. Urea, which was available for Rs1800, was even sold at Rs3000, which is why many farmers did not use it,” the farmer explained.
He said the wheat harvest normally starts in May, but this time it started from mid-April due to dry weather.
Khalid Hameed, a grower based in Peshawar, said one farmer has spent a lot of money on his crops, but his production will be much less this season.
Agriculture experts believe the province is more prone to climate change than other parts of Pakistan
“For a good harvest, farmers buy and use urea, DAP fertilizer and nitrophos. All of these products remained out of the purchasing power of many farmers this year. Urea was available for Rs3000 on the secondary market in February-March, the months when it is required for cultivation. Moreover, the price of DAP remained around Rs7000 per bag this time, which was a hefty amount. That is why many have not used these products and therefore the harvest this year is low,” he added.
He estimated a 30% reduction in wheat production this season in his region. He also said the Department of Agriculture should bring in new seeds, which can produce more crops.
“Our seed normally produces up to 20 maunds of wheat per acre, but this time the harvest is around 13 maunds per acre of acreage,” he claimed.
However, plant scientist Dr. Farhad Ali also cites several other factors for a good harvest.
“Although we provide quality seeds, some farmers don’t even consult us. They just buy the seeds from the market,” he added.
He said seeds alone are not enough, but farmers need to water their fields at the right time, sow the seeds at the right time and also use the fertilizers appropriately for good production.
He said that according to recent research, the central areas of KP including Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan etc. and the northern areas are now more suitable for fruit production, while the environment of the southern areas southern KP is suitable for wheat production. and other cultures.