Observer Report Islamabad
Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on Wednesday reiterated the government’s resolve for reviving and enhancing local output of cotton by providing technical and financial assistance to growers during current season.
Chairing a meeting held here to review the arrangements for cotton crop cultivation, Imam said that 23,000 tons of certified cotton seed would be available for growers during current season.
He said that these seeds varieties have 75 percent germination as compared to a 47 percent germination rate of seed cultivated during last year, adding that there are three major varieties of cotton seed that would be available.
Besides, Punjab seed council has introduced 17 new varieties including a double-gene variety whereas Sindh has introduced three varieties, he added.
Cotton growers needed encouragement, confidence and relief measures, he said, adding that they will be given incentives by the federal and provincial governments in form of cotton specific subsidies.
He further informed that government would also provide subsidy on pesticides for whitefly and pink bollworm, besides provisions of subsidies on cotton seed for cotton growers in order to enhance area under cotton crop production.
Fakhar Imam expressed the commitment of the government to ensure the efficient utilisation of subsidy by ensuring that subsidy being provided on cotton crop inputs reached the deserving farmers by minimizing any role of middlemen.
Along with this, subsidy for tractors and loan markups and fertilizer will also be provided for farmers for strengthening the government endeavors to introduce farm mechanization in order to achieve maximum per-acre crop output.
The minister advised the farmers to avoid mixing of cotton varieties as it lowers the quality of cotton and reduce trash content in cotton that can lead to lower profitability.
He also advised district wise monitoring of cotton growth and said that a total of 6 million bails of cotton are expected to be grown this year.