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KARACHI: The following six licensed Cotton Brokers of Naseem Usman Panel have been duly elected as members of the Brokers Advisory Committee of Karachi Cotton Association for the years 2023-2024:

(i) Muhammad Naseem Usman Chairman (KCBF), (ii) Sayed Taqi Abbas Vice Chairman, (iii) Muhammad Aamir Osawala Secretary, (iv) Girdhari Lal Joint Secretary, (v) Abbas Jalil Khan Treasurer (vi) Abdul Jalil Khan Public Relation secretary.

The Chairman of the KCBF has stated on behalf of the Panel that they would like to thank all 320 KCA licensed cotton brokers for their trust on them.

He also assured that KCBF will continue to strive for activation and promotion of the cotton trade and look after the interests of the cotton broker community at all time.

Naseem Usman said cotton crop failures are now a routine in Pakistan. The country has failed to develop any local variety of pest-resistant cotton seeds. No officially approved local or imported BT cotton variety is available. Fake varieties imported or smuggled invariably ruin large cotton fields.

It is a pity that the per-hectare production of cotton has declined in Pakistan from a peak average of 730 kg to less than 600 kg. Cotton being the entire world’s most widespread profitable crop, action needs to be taken to improve the production and quality of the main fibre that feeds the textile industry.

Naseem Usman said that the main reason for the decrease in cotton production in Pakistan is the establishment of sugar mills in the districts designated for cotton cultivation and the increase in sugarcane cultivation there.

Along with this, the quality of cotton has also decreased due to the sale of substandard seeds and adulteration of agricultural pesticides and fertilisers. In this regard, due to climate change and cotton pests (red cotton bug and dusky cotton bug), the country may face further decline in yield and quality of cotton.

It is not possible to resolve the problem of reduction in cotton production in Pakistan without solving these issues. In addition, there is an urgent need to focus on research and development to increase cotton production.

In this regard, cotton research institutions and agricultural universities should focus on starting research projects in collaboration with China or the United States so that hybrid cotton seeds can be developed which are capable of fighting climate change and also give good yields.

If such seed are provided to the farmers at subsidised rates after testing, it is possible to increase the yield and quality of cotton, which will benefit both the farmer and the industry.

In this regard, an organisation can also be formed at the national level in which research and development work can be done to increase the production and quality of cotton by setting a target through the representation of industrialists, farmers and the government.

Naseem Usman was of the view that a cotton emergency should be imposed. He also said that cultivation land of cotton should be increased, and provision of good quality seeds should also be ensured.

In this season, the government has set the intervention price of 40-kg Phutti at Rs.8,500 and promised to buy 1 million bales through TCP in case of marketing price fell below Rs.8,500, but the government did not fulfil its promise due to which the farmer community has become disillusioned and they may be attracted to other crops instead of cotton crop next year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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