Steps taken to achieve 15 million bales of cotton production: Minister

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan had reiterated the government’s resolve for mobilising all resources in collaboration with provinces to achieve the production of 15 million cotton bales targets set for the next sowing season.

In a statement, the minister said Pakistan Central Cotton Committee has developed good varieties of high-quality seeds and introduced production technology that best suits with changing the environment.

In addition, the provincial agriculture department has also partnered in cotton development and achieving the target production of 15 million bales, he added.

All the scientists and field staff of the agriculture department will be mobilized in capacity building of growers in various aspects of cotton production technology. The government will specially focus on contamination and quality improvement by properly implementing the Cotton Control Act and other regulation through respective forums, he added.

“Cotton being the lifeline of Pakistan is of our prime focus and this ministry is in the process of developing a long-term strategy to meet the requirement of our textile industry”, he added.

The minister explained that a committee of experts was formed which was devising the details of the plan in consultation with stakeholders to achieve the target.

The committee was assigned a task for ensuring availability of certified seed, pesticides and fertilizers, maintaining the plant population to the maximum level and determination of indicative price.

“We are also focusing on horizontal expansion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan especially the value-added cotton. During the current year, cotton prices remained firm and farmers experienced good profit and that will drive in getting the extra area under this crop during the following season.

Previous government has put this important crop on the back burner and resultantly area and production declined which ultimately badly affected our exports and the textile industry.

Mehboob Sultan said that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research always safeguards the growers’ interests to enhance their profitability by reducing the cost of cultivation. The recent reduction in electricity tariff to Rs5.35 per unit as the flat rate is one example of growers’ friendly policies of this government, contrary to the previous government who did it for three months only for political gains.

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