December 30, 2014 – Fazal Sher -BR Report –
Dry and cold weather conditions will continue for another three weeks in the country which may have a “very negative impact” on standing crops, according to agriculture and weather experts. Long dry and cold weather system in the country would leave negative impact on wheat, gram, potato and other minor Rabi crops. “The current weather system would badly affect the standing crops, especially in rain-fed areas,” said Dr Aslam Gill, Crop Commissioner, Ministry of National Food Security and Research while talking to Business Recorder.
He said that the sowing of wheat was almost completed in the country and wheat crop is presently in boosting stage which requires feed of water to survive. “Serious consequences may develop for wheat crop if the dry spell continues,” he warned.
He pointed out that the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) had fixed wheat production at 26 million tons from an area of 8.91million hectares for 2014-15 and gram target of 0.72 million tons from an area of 0.99 million hectares.
Another official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research on condition of anonymity said that if the current dry weather continues, the country would be unable to achieve 26 million ton of wheat target.
“Out of total sowing area of wheat crop, 10 percent is rain-fed in the country” he pointed out, adding the dry weather would mainly affect crop of rain-fed area due to which the country my face shortage of 2.6 million tons.
Dr Ghulam Rasool, chief meteorologist, Meteorological Department (PMD), said that the prolonged dry spell would continue till the first half of January, and the country would face dry, cold and foggy weather.
After third week of January, he said that the situation will start improving as the westerly wave will reach Afghanistan and Pakistan, which will bring snowfall on our mountains in February and rainfall in the agriculture plains of Pakistan and India.
Deputy Director, Forecasting Division of PMD Aleem-ul-Hassan maintained that there was no chance of any significant rain till the end of second week of January.
He said that very cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, light rain (with light snowfall on the hills) is expected at isolated places in Malakand divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan in the next 48 hours.
Dense foggy conditions would continue in Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Sahiwal divisions, while fog would be prevalent in Sargodha, D.G.Khan, D I Khan and Sukkur divisions during night and morning hours, he said.
The coldest places during the last 24 hours were Skardu
(-)12.0°C, Astore -9.0°C, Kalat -8.0°C, Hunza, Gilgit (-)7.0°C, Parachinar, Gupis, Quetta (-)6.0°C, Kalam (-)4.0°C, Lower Dir, Dalbandin, Zhob, Dir (-)3.0°C, Malamjabba, Rawalakot, Bannu, Drosh -2.0°C, Chitral, Mirkhani, D I Khan, Murree, Saidu Sharif (-)1.0°C.