Pakistan striving to enhance cotton production with China’s support: Food Minister
MULTAN, Aug. 24 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistani Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said on Monday that Pakistan was striving to enhance cotton production with the support of China to achieve its goal.
Speaking at a news conference at the Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), the minister said the government set a target of 10 million bales during the ongoing season, adding that one million bales can generate revenue of Rs 97.5 billion.
Imam announced that Cotton Cluster Villages would be introduced to promote the crop by ensuring modern technology in near future. “Cotton is a highly profit-generating crop as it strengthens the country’s economy and also offers job opportunities to millions of people in the country. We will introduce modernized farming techniques to these cluster villages to motivate farmers,” he said.
"Besides, the government is paying immense focus on white gold (cotton) and, hopefully, it would be a strategic crop in the future. Pakistan used to export textile products worth over 15 billion dollars annually. Last year, the country had to import 4.5 million bales for local industry,” he added.
Fakhar Imam said special focuses were given on seed quality, enhancing sowing area, mechanization, and up-gradation of research institutes in consultation with the Chinese counterparts.
About the current prices of cotton, the minister observed that the government had introduced an intervention price of Rs 5000 per 40 kilograms in order to facilitate the farmers. He, however, added that the prices of cotton were also high in the international market.
To a question about factors for the decline in cotton, he stated that climate change and pest attacks were the main causes for the decline in cotton, adding that the present condition of the crop was satisfactory. He said the government would also promote quality seeds that are resistant to climate changes and pest attacks.