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Pak to establish “quick response” system for cotton
28
Jul '16
Concerned over dropping yields of cotton, Pakistan's Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has directed the establishment of a quick response system to help farmers cope with various cotton crop related diseases.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting reviewing the prevailing cotton crisis. The meeting, which was chaired by Iqbal, was attended by which was attended by Federal and Provincial agriculture and textile officials, agriculture experts, researchers and farmers, media reports said.

Acknowledging that the agriculture sector had been facing many challenges due to climate change and crash of agricultural commodities prices in international markets, the minister said
drop in per acre yield of cotton was a matter of serious concern as cotton is the mainstay of Pakistan's agriculture and textile industry.

“We have to focus on increasing productivity and lowering cost of inputs,” Iqbal reportedly said at the meeting stressing that cotton played a vital role in increasing economic growth and development.

According to him if the cotton crop had not been affected the economy would have grown by 5.5% instead of 4.7 %, which was, nonetheless, the highest in eight years but marred by problems in the agriculture sector.

Assuring farmers and industry representatives, the minister said that government was making all-out efforts to uplift the agriculture sector and address problems of the farming community. The government, he said, had offered incentives for agriculture sector by decreasing prices of inputs and waiving off GST on many agriculture related items.

Pointing out that farmers were facing tough conditions in many countries due to crash of international commodity prices, he emphasized upon the need reforming research in agriculture sector to produce high quality seeds for getting high yielding varieties.

He also expressed the hope that the local farming community would stand to benefit said from Chinese expertise through exchange of knowledge and research in agriculture sector under the aegis of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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