THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Declining cotton production’ (July 24). Cotton is one of the most important and precious crops cultivated in Sindh. Growers used to earn a handsome amount because cotton fulfilled the needs of the textile industry which earned foreign exchange through exports.

However, things have changed over the last several years as various policies have forced the growers to reconsider their options as the crop has become unviable. The strange policy direction has deprived the growers of a chance to earn a decent living, and has caused loss of millions of dollars to the national exchequer as the textile industry now has to import cotton from abroad.

At the time of cotton harvest, vicious market forces get active in the market, using various tactics to compel the growers/farmers to sell their produce at the lowest possible price. Growers and farmers, who put much labour and money in turning the tiny cotton seeds into a blossoming crop, end up getting nothing for their efforts.

As things stand today, small growers and farmers are suffering due to improper price mechanism that allows the monopoly of the middleman who is obviously out to satisfy his own interests under one pretext or the other. The federal and provincial governments and their respective departments must immediately stop the suffering of the small growers who deserve to get a level playing field.

Dr Jamshed Adil Halepota
Karachi

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021

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