Promotion of sugar mills mafia damaging cotton economy: Shahid

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Islamabad

Former President ICCI Shahid Rasheed Butt has said promotion of sugar mills mafia should be stopped immediately as this sector is damaging the cotton economy for personal gains.
In a statement issued on Sunday, he said that illegal extension in sugar mills should be checked as it is helping the sugarcane crop encroach upon the best cotton sowing area and almost a million hectares of the cotton belt is now used for sowing of sugarcane.
Shahid Rasheed said that the tendency is very damaging for the country as the cotton crop is central to the economy and the largest industrial sector of textiles providing sixty percent of foreign exchange and jobs to millions.
Pakistan is facing a food crisis since two and a half years but nothing has been done to boost production or reduce wastage, he added.
The former President ICCI said that government should invite globally known seed companies to start their business in Pakistan so that farmers could get quality seed to boost production and reduce losses.
Seed certification mechanism should be improved, close links should be established with international agriculture research institutes, local seed varieties should be improved and a mechanism should be evolved to combat pests and disease, he demanded.
Shahid Rasheed said that globally almost one billion people are food insecure but at the same time food worth one trillion dollars is being wasted.
Coronavirus virus is contributing to global hunger and many countries are running the risk of famine but not a single country seems interested in reducing the wastage, he observed.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that a major part of food is wasted in developed nations due to excess buying while it is lack of transport, storage and other facilities which contributes to the wastage of food.
The US top the countries in the chart annually wasting food worth 360 million dollars that also wastes billions spent on seed, fertilizer and pesticides etc, he added.—INP

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