Pakistan working to transfer Chinese seed technology

Food minister stresses technological advancement to boost cotton yield

APP June 28, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Technological advancement is imperative to increase the per acre cotton yield in the country, said Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam.

Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Saturday, he affirmed that his ministry was working to transfer Chinese seed technology for enhancing crop yield besides securing funds to reduce cost of production and make cotton a profitable business. Imam asked PCGA Chairman Sohail Javed and Senior Vice Chairman Asim Shaikh to send a set of proposals for modernising the ginning sector and upgrading technology to improve the quality of lint produced in Pakistan.

PCGA Chairman Sohail Javed informed him that the declining cotton production was inversely affecting the ginning sector.

“Seed cotton for ginning factories cannot be imported in the present circumstances,” he stressed. “On the other hand, the cotton seed cake, a by-product of cotton, which is used as livestock feed to enhance milk production, is subject to multiple taxes.”

He added that other issues like piled up tax refunds, slower purchase of cotton by textile mills and liquidity issues were hampering the ginning sector during the Covid-19 outbreak.

He urged the Ministry of National Food Security to resolve the issues of the sector to save it from further loss.

In response, Imam said that the minsitry would discuss the taxation issue with the Finance Division and leave no stone unturned to win relief for the ginning sector.

The PCGA delegation added that over 1,300 ginning factories were installed across the cotton belt having the ability to gin 14 million bales but due to a drop in production for the past few years, only 800 factories were in operation as of last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2020.

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