(September 11, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain Wednesday said low cotton production will become a threat to the textile industry.
Farmers are losing interest in cotton crop due to increasing problems which is resulting in a reduction in area under cultivation and production which can become a problem to largest urban employment and largest export sector of textile, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader that government should consider incentives and support price for the cotton growers which may attract farmers resulting in enhanced production.
He said that reduced cotton production will result in imports which will increase the cost of doing business; therefore, steps should be taken in the right direction.
The former minister noted that area under cultivation dropped by 12.1 percent in 2018-19 while production fell by 17.5 percent.
Last year’s cotton production remained at 9.9 million bales which were 11.94 million bales in 2017.18 and 13.96 million bales in 2014-15, he said.
The veteran business leader said that the government has set a target of 15 million bales for the current year which is very hard to achieve.
He informed that 65 percent cotton is produced in Punjab while cotton equal to almost four million bales are destroyed annually to pests, worms, and other factors.
He called for a proper mechanism to shield cotton from pests and worms and make it a little more profitable so that farmers stop switching to other crops.