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Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:56

Pakistan framing strategy to up cotton output: Minister

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The Pakistan government is in the process of developing a long-term strategy to increase cotton production and thereby meet the raw material requirement of the textile industry, minister for national food security and research (NFSR) Mehboob Sultan has said. A team of experts is devising the details of the plan in consultation with stakeholders, he said. “Cotton being the lifeline of Pakistan is of our prime focus,” a NFSR press release said quoting the minister. “The government would mobilise all resources in collaboration with provinces to achieve the 15 million bales production goal set by the PM next year.” The Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, the apex cotton research and development organisation in the country, has developed good varieties and production technology that best suits with changing environment. In addition, provincial agriculture departments are also partnering in cotton development and achieving the target production of 15 million bales. The main features of the plan would be availability of certified seeds, ready availability of pesticides and fertilisers, maintaining the plant population to maximum level and determination of indicative price, Sultan said. “The NFSR is also focusing on horizontal expansion in KP and Balochistan, especially value-added cotton like Organic and BCI. All the scientists and field staff of agriculture department will be mobilised in capacity building of growers in various aspects of cotton production technology. This year we will specially focus on contamination and quality improvement by properly implementing the Cotton Control Act and other regulations through respective forums,” he added. During the current year, cotton prices remained firm and farmers experienced good profit and that is expected to drive in getting extra area under the crop during the following season, the release said.



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