Measures Taken To Enhance Cotton Productivity: SAPM
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said on Friday the government had taken measures to enhance productivity of all major crops including cotton to achieve sustainable economic development and social prosperity
LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jun, 2021 ) :Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said on Friday the government had taken measures to enhance productivity of all major crops including cotton to achieve sustainable economic development and social prosperity.
He was talking to the Managing Committee members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab during his visit to the Association office. Central Chairman APTMA Adil Bashir, Chairman APTMA Punjab Abdul Rahim Nasir, office bearers, and Executive Director APTMA Raza Baqir were also present.
He said cotton sowing was completed on over 84 percent or 1.96 million hectares out of 2.32 million hectares of cotton target area, with output target likely to be achieved this season. The cotton output target was fixed at 10.51 million bales during the current season, he added.
He said there was a record production of wheat, rice, maize, 'moong', onion and potatoes in the country and steps were being taken for the revival of livestock sector.
Earlier, central Chairman APTMA Adil Bashir briefed him about the Association and the issues being faced by it. He said the textile industry had a share of 8.5 percent in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, 60 percent share in exports and accommodated 40 percent of the manufacturing sector employment.
According to him, cotton was a major raw material for the textile industry with a present demand of 14 million bales. The cotton production had dropped to 5.65 million bales in 2020-21 while the cotton import bill of the industry had jumped to around $1.5 billion per annum and despite shortage of cotton, the import of cotton was burdened with sales tax at 17 percent and cotton cess at Rs 50 per bale, he added.
50 per bale of 170 Kg. Till 2012 cess was paid only on local cotton consumed locally or exported from Pakistan. Cotton Cess Rules issued in 2012 required textile mills to pay cotton cess on consumption of both local as well as imported cotton. He said notices for payment of cess retrospectively were being sent to member mills since 2019, which was causing harassment and grave financial constraints to APTMA members.
The Chairman APTMA stressed that consumption of imported cotton may be specifically exempted from levy of cotton cess and past liabilities to keep industry competitive against regional competitors in view of acute shortage of cotton.
He lamented that cotton production had dropped to 5.65 million bales in 2020-21 as against the industry requirement of 14 million bales. Water shortage, fake pesticides, and poor pest management had resulted into declining area under cotton production, low yield per hectare, and contaminated cotton.
He said cotton was an important cash crop for Pakistan and a major raw material for the textile industry, as cotton represented 75 percent in the fiber mix in the textile products and cotton based textile industry provided livelihood to 25 million. He said the existing demand for cotton was at least 14 million bales.
While suggesting the way forward, Chairman APTMA said there was a need to strengthen and capacity building of agriculture research institutions, improve cotton seed research to increase yield and quality of cotton. He also proposed direct support to farmers to reduce their input cost and technology transfer of high yielding cotton seed from international sources.
He also proposed strict action against spurious cotton seed/unapproved cotton seeds which had lost efficacy. He also emphasized on contamination free cotton production, restructuring of PCCC to run by the professionals/top cotton research scientists of international repute.
Also, he said, there should be crop insurance to reduce crop loss due to floods and other natural calamities besides putting in place market intelligence and information dissemination to improve farmers' access to information and advisory services.
Chairman APTMA Punjab Abdul Rahim Nasir thanked the SAPM for visiting APTMA and expressed the hope that the issues of growers and the industry would be resolved at the earliest. He further hoped that the steps taken by the government in enhancing cotton production would be beneficial to the industry as well as growers.