LAHORE: The federal government should take steps for stabilising seed cotton price in the country, Ihsanul Haq, former executive member of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has demanded.
In a statement on Monday, Haq said that the Indian government had announced support price for seed cotton (phutti) for the year 2012-13. India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs set the support price for long-staple seed cotton at 1,560 Indian rupees, equivalent to 2,575 Pakistani rupees, per 40 kg; and for medium-staple at 1,440 Indian rupees (2,375 Pakistani rupees), which are 18.18% and 28.17% more than the support price of last year 2011-12.
India’s cotton production target for fiscal year 2012-13 has been set at 34.3 million bales. There are apprehensions that this year Indian cotton exports will be 50% less due to lack of interest shown by Chinese buyers. Last year, Indian cotton exports stood at 13 million bales, the highest in its history.
Haq said that due to low exports to China, Indian traders will try to sell its cotton to other countries at lower prices which may adversely affect cotton rates in Pakistan.
For the last two years, he said, the government had not announced support price for cotton, which was discouraging the farmers. He suggested that the prime minister should ask the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to act as an alternative buyer of cotton in case prices go down to save the farmers.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2012.