KARACHI: The rate of cotton remained stable. Bearish trend witnessed in international cotton market. Sowing of cotton is very near. There is a need to develop a positive strategy on war footings to increase the production of cotton in the country. Industry was disturbed on the decision of the government to suspend gas supply to the industry. Ministry of National Food Security and Research should prepare an incentive program for farmers.
In the local cotton market during the last week trading volume was satisfactory because ginners were getting satisfactory rates as well as the textile mills were involved in buying according to their needs. The rate of cotton remained stable over all while mixed trend was witnessed in international markets.
The rate of cotton in Sindh is in between Rs 10200 to Rs 10700 per maund. The rate of Phutti is in between Rs 3500 to Rs 4600 per 40 kg while the rate of Banola is in between Rs 1600 to Rs 1900 per maund. The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 10300 to Rs 11000 per maund. The rate of Balochi and Afghani cotton is in between Rs 11400 to Rs 11500 per maund. The rate of Phutti which was not available in good quality and quantity was in between Rs 3500 to Rs 5300 per 40 kg. The rate of Banola is in between Rs 1700 to Rs 2100 per maund. In Balochistan the rate of Phutti in Dalbadin is in between Rs 5500 to Rs 5600 per 40 kg. The availability of Phutti is decreasing day by day and the quality is not good. It is expected that this season till continue till February 15 which is the shorter season in 30 years. The spot rate committee of Karachi Cotton Association has stabled the rate of cotton at Rs 10800 per maund.
Chairman Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman told that sowing will be partially started in Lower Sindh in end of February and start of March. For the last many years cotton farmers are bearing loss and are disheartened. In this situation what strategy farmers will evolve because up till now there is shortage of availability of good quality cotton seeds.
According to Naseem Usman over all mixed trend was witnessed in international cotton market. The fluctuation was seen in the Rate of Promise (Waday ka Bhao) of New York Cotton under the influence of fluctuation in the rate of dollar as well as weekly report of USDA also influenced it. In this week exports witnessed an increase of 10 % as compared to last week however the rate decreased despite increase in exports.
On the other hand there was a pressure on the rate of cotton in Brazil, China and Central Asian states. In India the rate of cotton decreased due to the arrival of cotton.
This year all the stake holders were worried because the cotton production in the country was lowest in thirty years. However, members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association have imported enough cotton but there are chances that they can face difficulties in future.
Relevant government agencies need to be mobilized as the time for consultation, suggestions and comments is running out. Sowing season is very near. There is a need of good quality seeds. After sowing there is a need of crack down on the mafia involved in selling substandard pesticides. At this time there is a need to evolve a strategy to ensure the availability of good quality cotton seeds.
Some people are claiming that they have prepared good quality seeds. If quality seeds are not provided in next two months then next year will be the last year for saving the cotton crop. For the last many years we are giving warnings that we have reached a situation “Now or never”.
More over all the industries were protesting against the suspension of gas supply to all Captive Power Plants and opposed government decision of suspending the gas supply at a time when after COVID19 the industries are becoming active. In this situation it is not a wise decision of the government this decision will affect the textile industry most because the industry got export orders from abroad in large quantity. All industrial organizations are demanding that government should take back the decision at once.
President Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Dr Jasu Mal Limani in an interview said that government should take immediate steps to increase the production of cotton in the country because cotton is the backbone of our economy. The government should fix the support price of cotton, zoning should be done, and certified seeds should be provided. He said bread and butter of millions of people is associated with the cotton crop.
PCGA has organised a stake holders’ conference on “To Develop a Consensus on Revival of Cotton Crop Round” on Wednesday February 3 in Islamabad. The Punjab Agriculture Committee has recommended to the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R) to prepare an incentive programme for farmers to enhance cotton production in Pakistan. The incentive programme will be submitted to the Federal Cabinet for approval aimed at strengthening the dwindling cotton crop. While the committee also recommended that the MNFS&R should complete consultation with the stakeholders on the revised Seed Regulatory Framework /Rules and forward the case to the competent authority for consideration.
This was suggested at the 3rd meeting of the Punjab Agriculture Committee held recently in the federal Capital with the Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar in the chair. According to the minutes of the meeting, it was also attended by the Chairman CPEC Asim Saleem Bajwa, Federal Minister for Agriculture and National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Punjab Minister for Agriculture Hussain Jehanian Gardezi and a number of senior bureaucrats and other stakeholders.
Additional Secretary MNFS&R Rashid Mahmood apprised the committee that a revised seed regulatory framework has been prepared and consultation with the stakeholders is in process. He further said that in the proposed seed regulatory framework, the area of operation is being defined and companies are to be categorized on the basis of their area of operations such as district level, division, province and national level.
In this regard, a district base licensing system will also be introduced and it would be subject to satisfactory performance in the district. The license of the seed company will be upgraded gradually to country-level operations. The major difference in the revised framework is that a company will have to submit “Performance Guarantee” and instead of imposing fine on a violation, deductions will be made from its performance guarantee along with the cancellation of the license, if required. So far as action against presently registered seed companies is concerned, 211 companies are in the process of being de-registration,” he added.
Asad Rehman Gilani, Secretary Agriculture, Government of Punjab apprised the committee about the department’s work on availability and monitoring of quality inputs (seed, fertilizer & pesticides). About the constitution of Tehsil level inspection committees to take administrative and penal actions against those involved in producing and selling substandard seeds and counterfeited pesticides, the meeting was apprised that provincial government has nominated its representatives, however, federal government is yet to identify the names of their representatives for which a reference has already been sent.
The committee also stressed the need for early resolution of “Cotton Cess” issue in consultation with the relevant stakeholders and developing a collaborative mechanism of partnerships in agriculture research and innovation by the MNFS&R and the Punjab Agriculture department.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021