Islamabad : An Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM) on cotton, held in Commerce Division, was co-chaired by Razak Dawood, Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment and Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Minster for National Food & Research. IMM was attended by senior representatives of Ministry of Commerce & Textiles and Ministry of National Food & Research.
The meeting deliberated on the issues pertaining to demand and supply of cotton in the market in order to devise a viable policy intervention to ensure the availability of cotton to the textile sector on competitive rates. On the other side, it was also emphasized to ensure the reasonable profit on the production of cotton by announcing a minimum indicative price of cotton to farmers /producers.
The representative of Textiles Division informed that Pakistan cotton consumption was 16.31 million bales in 2007-08 which decreased and in 2015-16 it was the lowest, 12.08 million bales. This year during July-April 2018-19 the imports are only 2.1 million bales last year during the same period the imports were 2.9 million bales. It was further apprised that in the year 2018-19 the production target was set to14.37 million bales which was revised to 10.78 million bales and then it came out to be 9.98 million bales due to low yield as result of chronic issues of poor and outdated seed technology, pesticides etc.
The Advisor to PM stressed upon the need to undertake robust research to improve the quality and productivity of the cotton in order to maximize the profits of farmers/producers of cotton and minimize the imports of the cotton. This goal can only be achieved by introducing new varieties of seeds and other inputs including pesticides, the Advisor added. The Minister for MNSF&R informed the participants that Pakistan Agriculture Institute (PSI), attached department of MNSF&R, is working to enhance the productivity and quality of cotton by developing new verities of cotton seed for the next sewing season of cotton. In return cost of production will be decreased significantly which will increase the profitability of farmers of cotton.