Jul. 19, 2019
The government is developing new varieties of cotton seeds to enhance production of the silver fibre and bring down the cost of output, food minister said on Monday.
Minster for National Food and Research Mehboob Sultan said Pakistan Agriculture Institute, an attached department of the ministry, is working to enhance the productivity and quality of cotton by developing new varieties of cotton seed for the next sowing season of cotton.
“In return cost of production will be decreased significantly, which will increase the profitability of farmers of cotton,” Sultan said, addressing an inter-ministerial meeting on cotton.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment Razak Dawood underscored the need of research to improve cotton quality and productivity amid falling production.
“This goal can only be achieved by introducing new varieties of seeds and other inputs including pesticides,” Dawood said. Research would maximise profits of farmers/producers of cotton and minimise cotton imports.
The meeting deliberated on the issues pertaining to demand and supply of cotton in the market in order to devise a viable policy intervention to ensure the availability of cotton to the textile sector on competitive rates. On the other side, it was also emphasised to ensure the reasonable profit on the production of cotton by announcing a minimum indicative price of cotton to farmers/producers.
The representative of textiles division informed the meeting that Pakistan’s cotton consumption was 16.31 million bales in 2007/08, which decreased to the lowest 12.08 million bales in 2015/16. Cotton imports were recorded at only 2.1 million bales during July-April period of 2018/19. The imports were 2.9 million bales during the same period the last year.
The meeting was further apprised that the production target was set at 14.37 million bales for the year 2018/19, which was revised to 10.78 million bales and the actual production turned out to be 9.98 million bales due to low yield as result of chronic issues of poor and outdated seed technology and pesticides. The meeting was attended by senior representatives of ministry of commerce and textiles and ministry of national food and research.