ISLAMABAD: Federal Cotton Committee (FCC) will meet on February 27 to fix the crop sowing targets for the next crop season and take stock of the crop production during last year.
Officials of the federal ministries including National Food Security and Research, Textile Industry Division, Planning Development and Reforms will attend the meeting, Cotton Commissioner said. Talking to APP here on Tuesday, Dr. Khalid Abdullah said that the provincial ministries of agricultures and their allied departments will also attend the meeting to give their input regarding preparations for the cultivation of major crop in the country.
He said that Indus River Authority System will present the water availability situation during the season while the metrological office will apprise the meeting about the weather forecast and about the precautionary measures for crop to get maximum output during the season. Besides, he said that officials of State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan and Zarai Traqiati Bank will present the credit disbursement and availability for cotton crop sowing.
Dr Abdullah further said that other stakeholder including National Fertilizer Corporation, Plant Protection Department and Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department will also attend the meeting. Cotton Commissioner said that according the Pakistan Cotton Ginenrs Association, about 13.1 million cotton bales have arrived in the local market so far. However, he said that final figures of last year’s produce would be compiled by the first week of next month (March) which will depict the actual picture of cotton crop during the period under review.
Dr Khalid said that cotton production in Punjab Province was recorded at about 9.36 million bales where as in Sind its output reached to 3.74 million bales as the crop was cultivated over 2.7 million hectares of land. The Cotton Commissioner said that after getting the GSP Plus status, demand of cotton is expected to increase by 28 percent which will also enhance the area under crop cultivation in the country.
In this regard, he said that all other departments including seed certification, bio-safety were also directed to work closely to fulfill the domestic requirements of seeds and pesticides to increase per acre crop production in the country. Dr Abdullah further said that Federal Government in collaboration with the provincial agriculture departments had started programme on “Clean Cotton Picking” and trained about 2,700 female trainers to introduce the farmers with clean cotton picking mechanism to enhance the prices of their produces.
He informed that the programme was further extended for one more year to train more staff for the training and avoiding the cotton crop from different pollution which minimize the prices of the cotton crop in local as well as international markets.
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