Domestic growers urge government to reduce cotton imports


Islamabad: Cotton growers on Wednesday urged the government for offering level playing field to local farmers in order to reduce the import of cotton into the country, which was discouraging the cotton farmers across the country.

They said that billions of dollars were being spent annually on the import of the cotton to fulfill the domestic requirements of local industry.

They stressed the need for taking necessary measures to check the import of cotton into the country to stabilize the prices of the commodity in the local market to benefit the lint farmers particularly small farmers.

They said that cotton imports into the country grew by 10 percent during last financial year ended on June 30,2016 as compared the corresponding period of last year.

Talking to APP here on Wednesday, President Kissan Ithad Khalid Khokhar urged the government to take appropriate measures to safeguard the local cotton growers.

He asked for reducing the cost of production to compete with the international markets and encouraging the farmers to grow more crop and enhance production.

He said that per 40 kg cost of production of local cotton was recorded at Rs. 2,533 as compared with the prices of the commodity in the neighboring country where it was recorded at Rs. 1,076 per 40 kg.

He urged the need for enhancing research expenditures, improved seed varieties and encouraging the local farmers by providing them special incentives to enhance cotton producing to its true potential of 20 million bales.

Meanwhile, commenting on the situation, Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdulah said that about 2.7 million cotton bales were imported during last year to fulfill the domestic requirements.

He said that exports of raw cotton from the country reduced by 49 percent during the period under review as about 146,000 cotton bales were exported last year.

He said that government was taking measure to reduce the imports of cotton and encourage the local farmers by stabilizing the prices in the local markets.

The Ministry of Textile Industry would device a comprehensive plan by taking all stakeholders including farmers, ginners and textile industry to reduce the imports of the cotton.