PESHAWAR: The long-standing flour crisis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has finally come to an end as the supply of wheat flour from Punjab has commenced on a temporary basis, resulting in a notable decrease in flour prices across the province.
Sabir Bangash, former President of the Flour Mills Association, disclosed that the supply of flour from Punjab has begun through a permit system, with a daily allocation of 3,000 metric tons of wheat flour being distributed to KP. Elaborating on the situation, Bangash emphasised that the KP government is currently providing local flour mills with 3,000 metric tons of wheat on a daily basis, despite the province’s actual requirement being 15,000 metric tons. This temporary arrangement has significantly alleviated the flour shortage.
As a result of the temporary supply from Punjab, the prices of flour have witnessed a decline, with the cost of a bag decreasing from Rs 500 to Rs 300, as shared by Sabir Bangash. However, there is concern that if Punjab halts the supply, flour prices may surge once again.
Shiraz Akram Bacha, the Provincial Advisor on Food, addressed the media, confirming that flour mills across all districts of KP are now receiving wheat supplies, and the daily provision of 3,000 metric tons of wheat flour from Punjab has been initiated. He said this concerted effort has successfully resolved the scarcity of flour, ensuring abundant quantities are now available in the local markets.
Bacha further informed that the price of a 20-kilogram bag of flour has been standardised across various districts within KP. However, when comparing flour prices in the private market, KP still experiences slightly higher rates compared to other provinces.
According to Bacha, the fixed cost of a 20-kilogram bag of flour in KP now stands at Rs 2,480. Despite being an agricultural country, Pakistan has been heavily reliant on wheat imports to meet its domestic requirements over the past couple of years. However, this year’s wheat crop production has seen a significant improvement, contributing to the resolution of the flour crisis.
Underlining the significance of wheat as a staple food in Pakistan, Bacha emphasised that the average consumption per person annually is approximately 124 kilograms.