ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday discussed the revival of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC).
This was done during the meeting to discuss ways and means to enhance cotton production in the country. The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam.
The meeting was informed that the use of biotechnology and genetic engineering is necessary using international support, whereas the importance of research was also empahsised for the revival of cotton. It was highlighted that cotton is an important crop whereas seven per cent of edible oil in Pakistan is produced by cotton.
Further, problems such as competency of staff, funds, and yields, as well as issues of pests and pesticides were discussed while keeping the farmers’ cost of production and sale in consideration.
The Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) has reminded the government that the cost of production is to be reduced and a minimum support price has to be set up.
PKI President Khalid Khokhar suggested that taxes and duty need to be levied on imported cotton to promote local farmers. “The marketing mechanism needs to be revamped as well,” he added.
Islamic University Bahawalpur (IUB) Professor Dr Iqbal Bandesha cautioned that cotton should not be sowed before mid-May to avoid monsoon damage.
Towards the end of the meeting, a representative of the PCCC said, “Cotton is changing, we should change too.”
Syed Fakhar Imam agreed, terming the year 2021 as a make or break year for Pakistan’s cotton.