LAHORE: Differing growers' organizations have termed the support price of Rs 5,000 per maund for the cotton announced by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) as insufficient keeping in view the hike in prices of different inputs and prevailing price of the commodity in the market.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in a recent meeting had approved the support price for cotton at Rs 5,000 per maund besides making the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) active to keep the prices of cotton stable in the market.
Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP) President Dr. Zafar Hayat while talking to Business Recorder here on Monday said he was unable to understand whether or not this decision was aimed at encouraging the cotton growers. In his opinion, cotton support price should not be less than Rs 6,000 per maund. In support of his demand, he said that DAP fertilizer bag prices had gone up to Rs 6,000 from Rs 3,500 per bag. Similarly, diesel prices had registered 25-30 per cent increase while prices of potassium based fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs had also registered increased with the same ratio.
Agriculture Republic co-founder Aamer Hayat Bhandara was of the view that farmers perhaps need better seeds resistant to virus, white flies and worms etc which gives higher yields and increases productivity. Announcing a support price this late, he added, when farmers have already shifted their cotton crop to rice, sugarcane etc. is not going to do much for shrinking cotton crop instead this will impact the farmers view selling the cotton at the price of Rs 1,000 more than the Trading Corporation of Pakistan's Rs 5,000. For this year, this can help perhaps hoarders to buy cotton from farmers hiding behind the TCP and if next year the rate attracts farmers and they make a return back to cotton crop this would not increase the productivity with existing seeds and crop protection available but will increase the acreage with extensive use of pesticides only increasing their crop protection farm bill.
Punjab Water Council (PWC) Convener and cotton grower from Bahwalnagar said that the government should also pay attention towards increasing the rate of cottonseed which hovers around Rs 2,000 per maund. He said that cottonseed constitutes two third of cotton and growers would not go to increase area under cotton sowing unless its rate is not increased.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021