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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Government to ensure cotton crisis doesn’t repeat

The government says that the current crisis has had a huge impact on the country. Thus, the government is working on steps to improve cotton production in the future.

On Friday, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that the government will provide subsidies on cotton seeds, fertilizers, and whitefly pesticides. He said that the subsidy will be distributed by the provincial governments.

This comes after a historically poor cotton production year for Pakistan in 2020, with a yield of 445 kg/ha, the lowest since 1984.

He said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved the subsidy.

Read More: LCCI asks govt to declare cotton emergency

Minister told the reporters that the government is taking three important steps to improve cotton production in the future. Firstly, the government is providing the aforementioned subsidy which will help increase the yield and incentivize farmers to grow cotton more.

Secondly, Government is also working on using technology and research to increase awareness among farmers. This will make farmers more aware of the accurate agricultural research so that the farmers can know in time which spray should be applied or which disease has occurred in which area. This will be done via setting up a web portal that would provide this information.

He said that the government is also working on eliminating the middleman.

Read More Cotton: Handling the White Gold Crisis of Pakistan

According to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), One of the most important reasons for the reduction in crop yield and production has been the substandard quality of seeds in the market.  The government has decided to register 200 companies which shall be the seed providers. This will help regulate the seed market and eliminate substandard BT seeds from the market.

Minister said that in the past, the backbone of the country, agriculture has always taken the black seats in the previous governments’ priorities, however, this is not the case with the current government. He said that Plant Breeder Bill and Seed Bill had been delayed for the last 20 years, no rules had been made for five years, and for the first time, the present government has passed these bills.