Pakistan needs comprehensive policy for cotton: Minister
June 12, 2014 (Pakistan)
L-R: Mr. Bosan, Mr. Abdullah, Ms. Shah, Mr. Afridi/c: PID
Pakistan needs to develop comprehensive policy guidelines for attaining sustainable growth and value addition of cotton crop, according to the Minister of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan.
The Minister was speaking at the Pakistan Cotton Consultative Conference, organized by the Ministry of Textile Industry in Islamabad.
Addressing the gathering of cotton growers and agricultural scientists, the Minister said it was imperative to devise a common agenda with the involvement of all stakeholders concerned for the actions to be taken in future for promotion of cotton sector in the country.
Mr. Bosan said cotton was the lifeline of Pakistan’s agricultural economy and deserved enhanced focus to create conducive environment for attaining greater interest and investment in the sector.
However, during the last few years, productivity of cotton crop had remained stagnant and farming community generally showed concern over low prices of raw cotton, noted the Minister.
He emphasized that besides creating farmers’ friendly market environment, there was an immediate need to take steps for bringing down the cost of cotton production and ensure fair return to cotton growers.
The Minister further stated that higher cotton productivity can only be achieved through addressing resource problems of small farmers and by streamlining the availability of better quality seed. For this, a Cotton Seed Development Plan (2015) is being prepared, and efforts were also afoot to integrate the private sector into seed business for realizing the potential of seed industry, he added.
Mr. Bosan informed that the Seed Amendment Bill 2014 has been submitted in the National Assembly for its enactment. In addition, the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill would be soon presented to the Cabinet for approval. The coming into force of these legislations would enable the seed industry to perform a viable and vibrant role.
The Minister further stated that provision of adequate training and exposure to modern technologies would also ensure better return to farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi elucidated various measures and steps taken by his ministry for improving the yield and quality of cotton crop. He expressed confidence that with the fresh induction of eminent agricultural scientists, a roadmap would be chalked out for realizing the full potential of cotton crop and putting it on higher growth trajectory.
Earlier, Cotton Commissioner Khalid Abdullah gave a presentation on current cotton scenario in the country.
Textile Secretary Rukhsana Shah, Food Commissioner MNFSR Shakeel Ahmed and other high officials from both ministries were also present on the occasion.