Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah said that heat-wave has destroyed one-third of cotton crop in Pakistan, especially in lower Sindh.
A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research was chaired by the Senator in which he emphasized the need to develop heat-tolerant, insect-resistant and high-yielding cotton seed varieties.
He said that it is essential to declare a cotton emergency across Pakistan.
Adding, “Production of only 10 million bales is expected in the current fiscal year 2019-20 against the target of 15 million bales.”
The committee raised concerns regarding the continuous decline in the cotton output and highlighted the need to take immediate corrective measures for sustainable economic growth.
The cotton commissioner has been asked by the committee to submit a detailed report on the local cotton production. Ministry of National Food Security and Research has been asked to fix a minimum support price for cotton to protect the farmers.
The low cotton yield was attributed to the usage of conventional seed varieties, thus, he stressed that it is important to approve grants for research institutions like Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc) and the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) that can promote research for the development of new seed varieties.