MULTAN – Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Haji Sikandar Hayat Bosan said on Monday that the Centre had allocated Rs2.5 billion funds to improve national cotton production for the fiscal year 2018-19.
While addressing a seminar titled “Cotton Production Technology” at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan, Bosan said that the government was doing whatever required and utilising all resources to upgrade agriculture sector and improve the financial condition of the farming community. He said that farming community was facing the problem of availability of better quality seed but added that researchers were busy day and night in developing varieties that can survive all odds including the climate change. He said that the government has provided Rs100 billion worth of subsidies to cotton farmers that was relevant to all stages from sowing to harvest.
He said that national cotton production showed better results this year compared to last year. Bosan added that prices of Phutti were also better this year which should be encouraging for farmers. Cotton Commissioner and Vice President Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), Dr Khalid Abdullah said that the country produced three million bales more than the last year’s production and attributed this success to the researchers’ hard work. He said that the federal cotton research bodies would continue to organise special training and guidance programmes for farming community in cooperation and consultation with the provincial governments to improve financial conditions of farmers and materialise the dream of ‘Khushhal Pakistan’.
CCRI Multan Director Dr Zahid Mahmood said that scientists were engaged in developing varieties that are high yielding, and can survive pest attack, and climate change factors.
He disclosed that laboratories have been set up at CCRI Multan where research was in progress on pink bollworm and white fly and its findings would help farmers in a big way to counter the pest attack.
Agriculture scientists including Dr Fayyaz Ahmad, Dr Idrees Khan, Dr Muhammad Naveed Afzal, Ms Sabahat Hussain, and Dr Rabia Saeed also spoke on the occasion. Progressive farmers including President Anjuman Kashtkaraan Rana Iftikhar Ahmad, and Noorul Haq Jhandeer from Mailsi also addressed the participants.
The seminar was attended by agriculture scientists from universities, and private sector, besides a number of progressive farmers. Different companies also set up their stalls.