As per the sources, the Pakistan rice farmers have expressed their dissatisfaction over the agricultural relief package announced by the Prime Minister in the last week. It was told that Rs5,000 per acre (around $120 per hectare) is not sufficient to cover their losses due to fall in prices. As the losses have jumped to around Rs30,000 per acre (around $720 per hectare) while the incentive is only one-sixth of the total losses incurred. In addition, it was also informed that due to market slump, prices of new crop stands 30% lower than last year’s crop.
Further, in this matter, Managing Director (MD) of the Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR), in a report entitled ‘An Evaluation of the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Relief Package’ also tried to analyze separately whether the package announced by the Prime Minister would have a positive impact on small farmers or not. It was observed that incentives like introduction of support price for paddy, export subsidy on rice and reduction in the price of light diesel oil would have increased the effectiveness of the package.
In one of the reports, it has been stated that it is too early to judge how well the relief package would cover the losses incurred due to price falls. In this regard, the experts are expecting the prices of rice to fall about 22% in 2016. Therefore, the author of the report says the allocated Rs20 billion (around $191 million) each for rice and cotton sectors would cover only 66% of farmers’ losses considering the number of farmers and total acreage of cultivation.