Minister says over 8.46 million cotton bales expected this year
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to have production of over 8.46 million cotton bales during the current season, a senior government official said.
Chairing a meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC), Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam welcomed the participants and thanked them for their participation and sought their feedback and recommendations for the development of the cotton crop in the country.
The meeting was informed that Sindh expected production of 3.5 million bales in this season. It was also briefed that the climate in this season had been much better than the last season and due to less rainfall the overall production was expected to increase.
The cotton production in Punjab is expected to touch 4.5 million bales at an increase of approximately 8.5 per cent from the last year. The overall cotton production is expected to reach 8.46 million bales.
Imam was also briefed that 2020 saw 398.6mm rainfall, which had a devastating impact on the production, whereas this year, the rainfall was 78.6mm, which has improved the prospect of the overall production.
Further, the meeting was informed that the attack of Mealybug and Whitefly and CLCuV remained significant, which had adversely affected the cotton production.
Imam said that it was imperative that awareness among the farmers was raised regarding contamination control, adding that through proper chemical sprays, the quality and quantity of cotton production could be enhanced.
The government would be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate the farmers, he said, adding that the present government, after a gap of eight years, has set the intervention price of Rs5,000/40kg, which encourages the growers to invest in the crop management and harvest high yields.
The Sindh and Punjab growers also praised this act of the government and requested to replicate the same in sugarcane and wheat.
Imam said that the government had performed exceptionally well in the last season, as Pakistan had the highest production in the top five crops, including wheat with the record production of 27.5 million tonnes.
The government aimed at transforming the cotton production, as well, he said, adding that the PTI government was supporting the cotton growers in every capacity.
There was a need for a paradigm shift in the yield of this crop, as it was one of the major factors of production in industry.
The minister said small holders would only be able to grow wheat if the quality inputs were timely available and in the range of the farmer’s access.
He stressed on establishing linkages between the scientists and farmers mainly to minimise the gap between the results of research farms with that of the actual field.
The minister said the government wished to ensure that the concern of all stakeholders are heard and addressed.
Representatives of cotton growers, provincial agriculture departments, associations and senior officials of the ministry also attended the meeting.
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