LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The state-run Bost Enterprise has launched a campaign to collect and buy 3000 tonnes of harvested cotton from growers in southern Helmand province.
The cotton ginning factory head, Haji Sherin Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that farmers possessed 7000 tonnes of cotton for sale this year, but they had budget for only 3000 tonnes to buy.
About comparison in the ongoing and past campaigns, he said, farmers received cash on the spot this time an addition to some products free of cost in order to encourage them.
He said they had fixed the rate of one kilogram of cotton at 40 afghanis, keeping in view its rate in open market.
Sherin Khan urged the central government to release more funds to the Bost Enterprise for purchasing cotton because they had purchased some new machines and replaced old ones.
Some farmers believed cotton could replace poppy crop if the government paid attention and fixed its price high in order to promote the crop.
A farmer in Nad Ali district, Haji Khudai Nazar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the current price of cotton could not reimburse costs incurred by farmers.
He urged Bost Enterprise officials to provide farmers with chemical fertilisers and agriculture equipment by reviving the past culture.
He said if the government paid attention to cotton crop, it would not only enable farmers to stand on their own feet but would also encourage them to abandon growing poppies.
Another farmer in the Nawa district, Mir Agha, said in the past, growers and the Bost Enterprise would equally share the profit and farmers would receive agriculture inputs free of cost.
But now the enterprise bought cotton from growers like shopkeepers and gave nothing else to them, he lamented.
The ginning factory was established 50 years ago, when it would buy 30,000 tonnes of cotton from growers.