Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Anjum Nisar has advised the government to declare a cotton emergency and take all necessary measures and plans of action to increase cotton production in the country. He also suggested that the government take steps for the education of farmers on quality seeds and to restrain sale of substandard seed.
The FPCCI president expressed concern over the low yield of cotton in the country he said cotton production had drastically declined from 15 million bales to 9.45 million bales in the 2019-20 season. The main reasons for the low production, he said were reduction in yield per acre, low priority to grow cotton, uncertified seeds, and pesticides, etc.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Karachi Cotton Broker’s Forum (KCBF) and Broker Advisory Committee (BAC) echoed Anjum Nisar’s concerns and decided to send a list of proposals to the government, as it had promised stakeholders to take steps in the ensuing annual budget/cotton policy.
The meeting said a separate Cotton Ministry should be formed to look after the affairs of cotton trade exclusively and tasked with increasing production in the country.
Cotton Monitoring should be made in district level to ensure quality seeds and pesticides are provided to the growers.
The government should also mobilise all resources to bring more area under cultivation, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The meeting also stressed that the growers should be trained and monitored to integrate modern pest management. It added that the cultivation of paddy/sugarcane should be banned in the areas marked for cotton cultivation.
The stakeholders also urged the government to assign cotton research institutes to work on developing virus resistant seeds to combat CLCV. Pure and certified pesticides should be imported in small packing as adulterated pesticides were causing large-scale cotton crop losses. The associations added that the government should emphasise upon stakeholders including growers and ginners to switchover to modern farming and ginning practices.
The final proposal was to hold seminars and workshops at the district level to educate farmers and landowners.