ISLAMABAD, Jan 27 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam Wednesday stressed the need for ensuring availability of high yielding pest resistant certified cotton seed varieties to enhance local production, declining gradually in the country.

In a meeting of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), the minister said increase in cotton output was imperative for economic development and, to ensure prosperity of local farming community.

He also called for utilization of all the available resources to improve the crop’s per-acre yield.

Fakhar Imam said cotton was an important crop as 7 percent of the edible oil in Pakistan was also being produced by cotton. The year 2021 was considered as year for cotton crop revival by addressing all issues and challenges faced by local farming community.

The representative of the PCCC underlined the need for adopting modern technology to have its maximum production.

Issues related to availability of funds for research and per-acre yields, pests attacks and pesticides also came under discussion during the meeting.

The meeting suggested the use of BT and genetically modified seed varieties that could enhance the crop’s production.

It also emphaszied the need for international support in research and development activities to produce high yielding.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Khokhar, President Pakistan Kissan Ittehad pointed out that the cost of production in the country was higher and needed to be reduced , besides fixing minimum support price for the crop.

He also suggested that taxes and duty should be imposed on imported cotton to encourage local cotton producer, besides revamping the marketing mechanism.