Islamabad—The Ministry of Textile industry will send cotton policy draft to the Council of Common Interest (CCI) for approval of the first cotton policy of the country. The ministry has started working on cotton policy and begun consultations with all stakeholders; sources revealed that it is likely to be approved before the upcoming budget. To get input and support of all the provinces, the ministry will send the draft of the policy to all the stakeholders for comments prior to its finalisation.
After the passage of 18th constitutional amendment, cotton has become a subject of the Textile Ministry. Pakistan produces 9.5 percent of the world’s cotton ranked as 4th largest producer in the world against its consumption of 10 percent where it is ranked third in the world. However, there is no policy in the country to regulate cotton, or its exports and finally work has begun on formulating a comprehensive policy, sources maintained. The policy would cover seed research, seed certification, seed manufacturing, distribution, farmers’ capacity building, better crop estimation, rationalisation of loss relating to cotton, cotton trading, machinery and ginner technology up-gradation.
Presently sub-standard seeds are being sold in the market, which is reducing yield per hectare. Seeds are dyed with red colour and the traders fraudulently maintain that it contains insecticide thereby successfully selling defective and low quality seeds. The policy’s objective is to regulate this sector, to protect the cotton crop and to enhance production to meet domestic industrial requirements. Sowing quality seed is half way security of successful production, but if farmers are offered low quality seed, achieving targets would be difficult. A meeting was held in the Ministry where all the stakeholders gave their input on the policy. The next meeting of the stakeholders will be held soon after which the draft of the policy would be sent to the provinces.