Multan: Research under the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will boost Pakistan’s production of ‘white gold,’ Pakistani Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam said referring to the cotton crop.
Addressing a ceremony virtually held in connection with World cotton day here at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), Imam observed that the cotton which is also known as ‘white gold’ was a main crop which contributes lion’s share to country’s economy but unfortunately its production had been gradually reducing in last few years.
“The research standard would be improved through CPEC in order to enhance cotton production. Only 4.5 million cotton bales were produced last year which was the lowest production in the country’s history,” he pointed out.
Fakhar Imam maintained that timely steps taken this year would achieve the set target of 8.46 million cotton bales as 3.8 million bales production was recorded by last month.
He underlined that the government had announced Rs 5,000 per 40 kilogram cotton support price for this year and added that the cotton growers were getting better cotton prices.
He stated that all out efforts were being made for the revival of ‘white gold’ despite the cotton cultivation area was reduced by 17 percent this year as compared to previous year.
Imam pledged that cotton production could be enhanced further by proper management and using quality inputs and special focus would be paid to qualitative cotton seed to meet the next year targets.
He said that bumper cotton production of three crops including wheat, maize and sugarcane was recorded this year and hoped that the country would also get better productions of other crops.
The minister remarked that edible oil related crops was being paid more attention for maximum production of oil adding Pakistan had been importing 3 billion US dollar edible oil per annum.
On this occasion, Punjab provincial minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jehania Gardezi said that the incumbent government had realized that cotton was major crop of the country and steps were being taken for its revival to strengthen our economy.
He mentioned that bio-technology mechanism was being adopted instead of chemical method to decrease cost of production for cotton growers.
He said that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system would be introduced on large scale to minimize usage of pesticide and environmental pollution.
Secretary agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel claimed that cotton production targets could be achieved by taking all stakeholders on board.
He informed that agriculture department was striving hard to enhance per acre cotton production and the agriculture extension staff was remained active to provide proper guidance to cotton growers.
At the event, a large number of cotton growers were also present. Earlier, an awareness rally was taken out on World cotton day at CCRI which was attended by large number of people.