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MULTAN: The Pakistan Cotton Growers Association (PCGA) has demanded the government take immediate notice of the crisis in the cotton trade and initiate steps to resolve the problems faced by the industry.

In a statement issued here on Friday, PCGA Chairman Chaudhry Waheed Arshad said without measures on war-footings, wheat cultivation will not be possible in the country, which may result in food shortage and food crisis.

The government should save farmers from major economic crisis through timely steps; he said and added that the process of cotton purchase by the textile sector is stalled.

The ginning industry has stopped purchasing cotton as the textile sector is the sole and major buyer of white gold and farmers have stopped picking cotton as the market mechanism is badly affected, PCGA Chairman informed.

Cotton arrival declines 24% year-on-year due to devastating floods

The agriculture department is repeatedly issuing instructions to the farmers to cultivate wheat, while wheat cultivation is possible only when the farmers complete the sale of cotton and prepare the land for it, Chaudhry said.

Edible oil is also decreasing because the cotton seed is still in the field and last year also 7 billion dollars worth of edible oil was imported, he noted.

Moreover, due to lack of cotton seed crushing, its quality is deteriorating and livestock was being deprived of quality food. A major crisis has arisen as the entire supply chain and stakeholders are affected, he disclosed.

By now the sale of the cotton crop should have been completed and the fields should be ready for wheat cultivation, PCGA Chairman maintained.

The ginners are not getting the best quality cotton and the ginning factories have turned into warehouses of unsold cotton. The increase in stocks has stopped the process of new purchases as the ginners are not financially able to make new purchases due to the existing stocks of cotton, he concluded.

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