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KARACHI: The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) is extremely perturbed over the drastic decline in cotton production from 15.0 million bales to 6.00 million bales, as reported, in the current cotton season 2020-21.

The KCA understands that decline in cotton production again in cotton season 2020-21 is mainly due to (i) reduction in yield per acre (ii) cultivation of sugarcane in the areas earmarked for cotton cultivation (iii) supply of uncertified Cotton Seed & Pesticides etc. Hence, there is a considerable gap in cotton production and local mills consumption.

The local textile industry is, therefore, compelled to import raw cotton from abroad to meet its requirement of basic/primary raw material and to ensure its contribution towards achieving the target of exports fixed by the Government through exports of valued added products as well as earning much needed foreign exchange for the country.

The KCA, therefore, urges upon the Government to declare emergency and evolve necessary Plan of Action on war footing basis to increase cotton production in the coming years to meet the rising requirements of the local textile industry and leave adequate surplus for export in order to ensure the presence of Pakistan Cotton in the international market to earn valuable foreign exchange for the country through export of cotton and its value added products.

The KCA also urges upon the Government (i) to mobilize all resources at Federal and Provincial level to bring more area under cotton cultivation, (ii)increase yield per acre, (iii) ensure to produce and supply of Certified Cotton Seed to the growers for cultivation, (iv) provide education to growers to switchover to modern integrated pest management system, (v) place ban on cultivation of Paddy/Sugarcane and setting-up of Sugar mills in the areas already earmarked for cultivation of cotton, (vi) revamp/gear-up Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC)/all the Cotton Research Institutes to evolve high yield/virus resistance cotton seed varieties for cultivation, (vii) take measures to import pure and certified pesticides in small packing instead of bulk in order to avoid adulteration, (viii) advice the cotton growers and the ginners to switchover to modern farming and ginning practices year after year to increase cotton production and improve quality of cotton and (ix) implement Cotton Control Act in letter and sprit to achieve the desired results.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020