Research development fund to be setup for enhancing cotton production

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ISLAMABAD: To enhance cotton production for next season, the government is contemplating to announce a Rs10 billion research development fund in this regard.

In a high-level government meeting held on Wednesday, the government formulated a plan for trying to enhance cotton production, which has stalled in the last few years, reported Express Tribune.

Officials from Punjab and Sindh government were also present during the meeting, held at the Planning Commission.

The move to develop a research development fund was felicitated by both Sindh, Punjab provinces. Cotton production last year was recorded at 10.7 million bales last year, and is forecast to be 11.1 million bales in ongoing season against target of 12.6 million bales.

This research development fund will be a ten-year plan, which would be forwarded to federal cabinet for go-ahead and will probably be announced during next financial year 2018-19 budget.

Proposal of this plan came forth due to the challenging of cotton cess being paid by spinning mills and who also filed a court case in this regard.

The government under this plan intends to spend Rs1 billion annually for the next ten years for research purposes and find ways to enhance cotton production. It has been decided this research fund would be allocated in form of a competition grant to researchers.

The production of cotton has gone down, due to the establishment of sugar mills in South Punjab’s cotton zone.