ISLAMABAD: If farmers get good prices for their crop locally, there would be no need for exporting cotton or yarn, observed the Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal.
While talking to a delegation of Hosiery Association of Faisalabad which called on him here, he said that cotton production in the country has increased due to good prices given to the growers and the same must continue for a viable textile industry in the country. The minister stressed the need for safeguarding the interests of the farmer community as the economy and industry of the country was agro-based. “Without safeguarding the farmers’ interest, prosperity cannot be achieved,” he added.
He said the shortage of sugar in the country was the result of low payments made to the growers which affected the production of sugarcane. Gondal said that the domestic requirements of 15 million cotton bales would now be met as the government has entered into an agreement with the leading American seed company, Monsanto. Proper mechanism would be adopted to give benefits to the farmers and protect them against any exploitation, he added.
The visiting delegation, led by Dr Khurrum asked the minister to devise a mechanism that results into a win-win situation for growers, spinners and value addition sector. They also suggested to passing on the benefits to the growers for increasing the cotton crop to fulfill the domestic requirements locally.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 26th, 2010.