Govt to take steps for enhancing cotton output: minister
MULTAN: The government will take measures to improve the standard of research under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to enhance cotton production, a senior government official said.
Addressing a ceremony virtually held in connection with the World Cotton Day at the Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said: “Cotton, which is also known as “white gold” was the main crop, contributing lion’s share to [the] country’s economy but unfortunately its production has been gradually reducing in the last few years.”
Only 4.5 million cotton bales were produced last year, which was the lowest production in the country’s history, he said, adding that the government took timely steps this year to achieve the set target of 8.46 million cotton bales, as 3.8 million bales production was recorded in September.
The minister said the present government has announced Rs5,000/40kg cotton support price for this year, adding that the cotton growers were getting better cotton prices.
All-out efforts were being made for the revival of “white gold”, despite the cotton cultivation area being reduced by 17 per cent this year, compared with the previous year, he said.
Imam said that the cotton production could be enhanced further by proper management and using quality inputs and special focus would be paid to qualitative cottonseed to meet the next year’s target.
The country recorded bumper production of three crops; wheat, maize and sugarcane this year, he said and expressed the hope that the country would also get better productions of other crops.
The minister said the edible oil-related crops were being paid more attention for maximum production of oil, adding that Pakistan has been importing edible oil worth $3 billion/anum.
Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jehania Gardezi said that the government has realised that cotton was the major crop of the country and steps were being taken for its revival and to strengthen the economy.
The biotechnology mechanism was being adopted instead of a chemical method to reduce the cost of production for cotton growers, he said, adding that an integrated pest management (IPM) system would be introduced on large-scale to minimise the usage of pesticides and environmental pollution.
South Punjab Agriculture secretary Saqib Ali Ateel said that the cotton production targets could be achieved by taking all the stakeholders onboard.
The Agriculture Department was striving hard to enhance per acre cotton yield and the agriculture extension staff remained active to provide proper guidance to the cotton growers.
A large number of cotton growers were also present on the occasion.
Earlier, an awareness rally was taken out on the World Cotton Day at CCRI, which was attended by a large number of people.
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