ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the cotton crop has played an important role in the national economy and has given directives for amending the Seed Act and reconstituting the cotton committee immediately.
Chairing a high-level meeting on Monday to review the cotton policy and its cultivation in the country, the prime minister directed the ministries of finance, national food security and commerce to present proposals on fixing the support price of cotton.
The meeting discussed the share of cotton crop in the overall produce of the country and other matters including import, export and challenges to cotton production.
The prime minister expressed concern over the gap in cotton production in different parts of the country.
He regretted that the crop was neglected by the previous governments in terms of new seed harvesting, promotion of technology, adaptation to modern farming techniques and financial assistance to farmers.
“The apathy towards cotton cultivation not only resulted in a gradual decline in production and discouragement of farmers, but also affected the textile industry and its exports,” he said.
PM Imran said steps for the improvement in cotton yield were on the cards in consultation with the farmers and relevant authorities.
During the meeting, he was informed that modern Chinese agricultural technology would be adopted to enhance the yield of cotton crop and a centre of excellence was being established in Multan in that regard.
The government, under the Prime Minister’s National Agriculture Emergency Programme, is importing technology to save the cotton crop from pink ball worm, which will be provided to the farmers at cheaper prices.
A project of cotton farming is also being launched in Balochistan in collaboration with MEC, a renowned Chinese company.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2020.