The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has urged the government to introduce a five-year cotton policy to raise production to 22 million bales and exports to 3 million bales through crop insurance incentives and quality premium for farmers. The country’s average cotton production now is 13 million bales, out of which a million bales are exported.
Drawing attention to the issue of government and private enterprises failing to supply qualitative, well-germinated and heat- and virus-resistant seeds to the farmers, PCGA chairman Jeso Mal T Leemani said the area under cotton crop should be increased to 4.2 million hectares from the current around 3.2 million hectares. Office bearers of the association recently addressed a press conference in Multan.
As Pakistan’s cotton fetches a low price in the international market due to contamination, the new cotton policy should address that issue apart from setting aside funds for research and development, capacity-building and infrastructure development, Leemani said.
A model cotton trading house should be set up to minimise the role of middlemen and ginning research and training institutes should be established in Sindh and Punjab, he added. (DS)