Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pakistan warning to food hoarders

A flour wholesaler waits to collect bags of flour at a flour mill in Pakistan
Wheat is a staple food in Pakistan

Authorities in Pakistan have warned that people hoarding wheat will have their stocks confiscated unless they sell it to government agencies.

The government says production of wheat will fall a million tonnes short of what the country requires this year.

There have been accusations that some Pakistani traders are illegally selling wheat intended for domestic use abroad.

The government has also said it will reward anyone who informs on people hoarding wheat, a staple food.

Authorities believe hoarding of wheat is one the main reasons for rising food prices.

Reports suggest that some traders are illegally selling wheat intended for domestic use to Afghanistan and Central Asia because they can get higher prices there.

In an effort to discourage people who hoard wheat, the government has warned that their stock will be confiscated if they fail to sell them to state agencies by Monday.

Farmers will also get incentives to sell their wheat to public sector agencies.

To meet the shortfall in supplies, the government has already approved a proposal to import 1.5 million tonnes of wheat to tackle the crisis.

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