Govt hopes cotton production target will be met

Additionally, Bosan demands transfer of cotton sector from textile ministry to food ministry

APP November 23, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Wednesday informed that as of November 15, total cotton that arrived in the market was recorded at 8.78 million bales against the set target of 11.039 million bales.

“The final figures would come by the mid of January 2017 and it is hoped that the target would be met,” officials of the ministry informed the Standing Committee on NFSR here.

The meeting was informed that last year, by the same date, 8.019 million bales had arrived in the market.

Meanwhile, National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan told the committee that the government would not allow duty free import of cotton in a bid to protect local growers.

“The decision of imposing duty on the import of cotton can be revised only after the consumption of all locally produced cotton so that the local farmers get a good price for the crop,” Bosan added.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the Chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah.

Regarding the Plant Breeders Right Act, the committee chairman directed the ministry officials to prepare rules and regulations within two months after the enactment of the law and all stakeholders should be taken on board in the process.

The committee was also briefed on the agenda of lowering the trend of cultivating sunflower crop.

The meeting was informed that the country imports 82.3% of all consumption of edible oil.

The minister said that the main reason behind the reduced trend of cultivation of the crop was a hefty cut in the sunflower crop price.

On request of Bosan, the committee also included the agenda for the next meeting to discuss the transfer of the cotton sector from textile ministry to the ministry of NFSR.

“I forwarded a summary to the Prime Minister in this regard who referred it to the cabinet committee on restructuring which rejected the summary,” Bosan said, adding that he would again write a letter to the Prime Minister to review the decision of the committee.

Senator Mohsin Leghari said cotton crop was an agriculture product and it should be included in the ministry of NFSR.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2016.

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