‘Quality seeds must to achieve cotton production target’

Published October 7, 2020
The use of poor quality seeds coupled with old farming techniques are the key factors that brought down Pakistan’s cotton production.
The use of poor quality seeds coupled with old farming techniques are the key factors that brought down Pakistan’s cotton production.

MULTAN: The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Tuesday expres­sed concerns over the re­­duced size of cotton crop 2020.

Highlighting that a bigger size crop can steer economy out of stress, the association noted that the production target of 15-20 million cotton bales needed availability of quality seed and not vast tracts of land.

PCGA Chairman Dr Jassu Mal and Senior Vice Chair­man Malik Tufail Ahmad told APP that a large rural population in country’s vast cotton belt relied on ‘white gold’ for livelihood.

On the eve of World Cotton Day, the PCGA office bearers stressed on availing the occasion as an opportunity to set the direction to a bigger production of silver fibre.

The PCGA was ready to play its part along with other stakeholders in efforts to regain the 15m bales production mark, they said.

Dr Mal emphasised the need of investing ample resources in improving the quality of cotton up to the international standards.

He said that arrival of cotton was calculated at 736,760 bales till Oct 1, 2020, in Punjab, down from 11,65,868 bales last year.

“This is a very serious situation that must force institutions to think whether the cotton farmers were diverting to alternative profit generating crops. If it turns out to be true, then how is it that their trust can be revived on cotton,” he said

“The world has employed technology to improve their crop size and strengthened their economies adding Pakistan must also follow the suit,” he added.

The PCGA chairman added that the association would submit its proposals and cooperate with all ministries and departments for revival of cotton cultivation.

Mr Tufail said the increase in crop size and improvement in quality of cotton was the recipe to prosperity.

“A comprehensive strategy needs to be finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders and government ministries and departments to elevate cotton production to 15-20m bales,” he said.

“Good quality seed and availability of agriculture experts and officials is all that is needed to achieve the milestone and not the vast tracts of land,” he summed up.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2020

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