MULTAN, Aug 23 (APP): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Monday said that Cotton Cluster Villages would be introduced to promote the crop by ensuring modern technology in near future.
Cotton is a highly profit-generating crop as it strengthens the country’s economy and also offers job opportunities to millions of people in the country.
Fakhar Imam expressed these remarks while holding a press conference at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), here.
He informed that one million bales helped to generate Rs 97.5 billion. The government has set a target of 10 million bales during the ongoing season, he added.
He remarked that cotton cluster villages comprised of two to four union councils would be introduced in different areas. Modernize farming techniques would be introduced in these cluster villages with an objective to motivate other farmers.
Besides this, the government was paying immense focus on white gold (cotton) and hopefully cotton would be a strategic crop in the future, he stated. Pakistan used to export textile products worth over 15 billion dollars annually.
Last year, the country has to import 4.5 million bales for local industry.
Fakhar remarked that the government was striving hard to enhance cotton production. Special focus is being given on seed quality, enhancing sowing area, mechanization, and up-gradation of research institutes said Fakhar.
About the current prices of cotton, minister observed that the government had introduced an intervention price of Rs 5000/40kg in order to facilitate the farmers.
He, however, added that the prices of cotton were also high in the international market. Fakhar suggested farmers ensure clean picking of cotton so that they could find handsome prices against their produce.
To a question about factors for the decline in cotton, he stated that climate change and pest attacks were the main causes for the decline in cotton, adding that the present condition of the crop was satisfactory.
Fakhar Imam said that government would also promote quality seed having immense resistance against climate changes and pest attacks.
The minister also hinted that ginners would be convinced to modernize their ginning units as per international standards.
To another question about wheat, Syed Fakhar Imam said that country received historic production of 27.5 million tonnes which was a record. However, the government was importing wheat to maintain wheat stock in abundance.
About scientists’ issues at CCRI, he promised to resolve their issues.