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ISLAMABAD: Owing to the incentives introduced by the government for reviving output of cotton, the arrival of this major cash crop in local ginning factories has witnessed about 159 percent increase as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

By September 15, about 2.69 million bales have been transferred to local grinning factories as against the 1.04 million bales of the same period of last year, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam was apprised here on Monday.

Chairing a meeting on cotton, Imam said that as compare the crop production data of cotton till September 15, over 2.69 million bales have been transferred to the local grinning factories as against 1.04 million bales arrived during the same period of last year.

Despite lowest area under cotton cultivation in the last 20 years, which stood at 1.87 million hectares, he said that this represents over 159 percent higher arrivals so far.

He also appreciated the positive trend in cotton production and stressed the need to maintain the momentum to achieve higher output. Senior officials of the provincial agriculture departments, and the Ministry of National Food Security & Research attended the meeting.

The minister welcomed the participants and appreciated the role of all stakeholders in increasing the overall production of cotton. Given the current trends of cotton arrival, it seems the total production of cotton would exceed the previous estimate of 8.46 million bales, he said, adding it was prerequisite to ensure vigilant crop management to maintain the positive yield trend.

He said that to maximise the production it was imperative that growers focus on clean picking so that quality and higher grades were maintained to fetch better prices in the local market. The minister also advised that cotton farmers to carefully choose high yielding cotton varieties for next year and use certified seeds.

He said the government would be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate the farmers. Fakhar emphasized that the provincial governments should carry out proactive extension campaign to advice farmers to properly manage their cotton crop because the coming six weeks are critical to maintain high yields.

The minister said the government after eight years had set intervention price of Rs 5,000 per 40kg, which encouraged the growers to invest in crop management and harvest higher yields. Fakhar Imam said the government wished to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders were heard and addressed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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