Cotton production has increased with Chinese help: Food Minister
ISLAMABAD, September 21(Gwadar Pro)- Pakistani Minister for National food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said on Monday afternoon that cotton production had increased with the help of China despite the lowest cultivation in the last 20 years.
Chairing a meeting here on cotton, Imam pointed out that according to the crop production data of cotton till September 15, more than 2.69 million bales had been transferred to the local grinning factories as against 1.04 million bales arriving during the same period of last year.
“Owing to the incentives introduced by the current government for reviving output of cotton, the arrival of this major cash crop in local ginning factories has witnessed about 159% increase as compared to the corresponding period of last year,” he informed, adding Chinese help had started producing results.
He said despite the lowest area under cotton cultivation in the last 20 years, which stood at 1.87 million hectares, “this represents over 159% higher arrivals so far.”
The minister mentioned that under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China was focusing on helping Pakistan to multiply its agricultural production.
He appreciated the positive trend in cotton productivity and stressed the need to maintain the momentum to achieve higher output.
The minister welcomed the participants and appreciated the role of all stakeholders in increasing the overall production of cotton.
“Given the current trends of cotton arrival, it seems the total production of cotton would exceed the previous estimate of 8.46 million bales. It is prerequisite to ensure vigilant crop management to maintain the positive yield trend,"he advised.
To maximize the output, he stressed, it was imperative that growers focus on clean picking so that quality and higher grades were maintained to fetch better prices in the local market.
The minister also advised the cotton farmers to carefully choose high yielding cotton varieties for next year and use certified seeds.
He promised that the government would be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate farmers.
Imam emphasized that the provincial governments should carry out a proactive extension campaign to advise farmers to properly manage their cotton crop because the coming 6 weeks are critical to maintain high yields.
The minister indicated that the present government had set intervention price of Pakistani Rs 5,000 per 40 kilograms, which encouraged the growers to invest in crop management and harvest higher yields.
Fakhar Imam maintained that the government wished to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders were heard and addressed.
Senior officials of the provincial agriculture departments, and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research attended the meeting.