MULTAN: Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi said that uplift of agriculture sector and prosperity of farmers was among the top priorities of the incumbent government. The Minister said that Farmers, Ginners, spinners, textile millers and value adders were not adversaries of each other. They are inevitable for each other’s. He was addressing a representative session of all stake holders of cotton hosted by noted industrialist, Former Punjab caretaker Minister for industries, President of DGCCI, Ex-President of MCCI, Chairman of MDPT Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi. It was attended by Farmers, Ginners, spinners, Textile millers, and exporters to textile millers.
The Minister said that public and private sectors would have to work collectively for provision of the good quality seeds to farmers besides reducing their production expenses. He further said that it was the need of the hour to acquire modern technology for enhancing cotton production. Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi said that the revival of cotton was a big challenge for which all stakeholders would have to work together. He said the use of the latest BT cotton seed would help in reducing the attack of different insects. The seed would be effective against weeds as well and would ultimately help in increasing per acre production of cotton besides reducing the production expense of growers, he maintained.“ Pakistan is lagging behind in cotton production because the technology and breeding system of the crop has changed in the world,” Gardezi noted, adding that one cannot avoid the continuous changes in technology the world was bringing in.
He said the country had to import cotton to meet domestic demands because it could not match the pace of the world. “Over 50 percent of Pakistani exports consisted of cotton or cotton items,” the provincial minister said. “We could improve our exports if we go for value addition of cotton.” that Pakistan missed 1,500,000 tonnes of the wheat target in the last yield. He said: “The total wheat yield was 2.5 million tonnes. He has termed 2021 as the year of farmers and said that those who make substandard seeds and counterfeit pesticides are national criminals and they will be punished. A special committee has been set up under the chairmanship of me and the Chief Minister of Punjab. We are meeting every week to resolve farmers’ issues, an increase in cotton production. We will work on an urgent basis to solve the problems of the farmers as well as to provide them with quality seeds. The Minister praised the services of Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi for this national cause and arranging a true representative gathering and hoped that now we would be able to meet this challenge of low cotton production because every stakeholder is aware of his responsibilities.
In his welcome address, Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said that being a farmer, Ginner and spinner” I am aware of the problems confronted by the stakeholders” I suggest to the Government to grant at Rs.25,000 to 30,000 per acre subsidy to cotton growers to attract them to bring them back to cotton crop from Sugarcane. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was very serious and sincere to boost up cotton production and he had constituted a committee of stakeholder which is co-chaired by Governor Punjab and Chief Minister. He stressed the need for taking remedial steps like interest-free loans, a supply of tractors and farm implements on subsidised rates, adoption of the latest technology. He said that low production of cotton had badly hit the even female cotton pickers who earn more than Rs.2 billion through these services. He said that we are spending precious foreign on the export of wheat, sugar and cotton which can be spent on the welfare of farmers and rural population.
The session was attended by Mian Tanvir ‘A sheikh, Mian Rehman Nasim, Mian Faisal Mukhtar, Haji Muhammad Akram(PCGA)Khawaja Muhammad Younas(Chairman APBUMA),Khalid Mehmood Khokhar (Kissan Ittehad) ,Ch.Zulfikar Anjum, Dr.Khalid Khokhar, Khawaja Muhammad Iqbal,Makhdoom Amer Gilani, Khawaja Muhammad Yousaf,, Altaf Shahid, Khawaja Muhammad Iqbal, Khawaja Mehr Ali, Mujahid Raza Kalroo, Khawaja Muhammad Shoaib, Nawab Asad Khakwani, Faisal Khakwani, Azam Khakwani,, Dr.Muhammad Asif Qureshi,Salim Nasir, Asif Majid, Khalid Masud Khan, Mian Amer Nasim,Aqueel Bhuaa, Col(Retd) Baqar Naqvi, Muhammad Shafiq Pitafi,Imran Gardezi, Suhail Mehmood Haral, Talat Suhail of PCGA and many others.