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NA body sought govt’s intervention in price, quality seed of cotton

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February 17, 2022: The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Agricultural Products on Thursday sought government's intervention in price and quality seed of cotton.

The National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products stressed for urgent measures to ensure production and availability of high yielding and disease resistant certified seed for cotton and wheat.

Presided by the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, the Committee recommended early announcement and upward revision of the intervention price for cotton and vowed to develop a new regulatory framework to arrest the adulteration of agricultural inputs.

The Committee also recommended concrete lining of Balochistan’s Kachhi canal in Phase-II and Phase-III of the Kachhi Canal project.

The members of the Committee highlighted that the future of Pakistan’s food security and agricultural growth was inherently linked to quality seed production as Pakistan continued to lag behind in terms of latest seed varieties and higher yields.

The members stated that owing to yield stagnation, Pakistan was consistently losing its competitive advantage in major crops. Since last two decades, despite an array of research institutes, little progress has been made in developing high yielding and disease resistant seed varieties for cotton and wheat, they added.

The officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and provincial agricultural departments apprised the Committee on the production and availability of quality seed for cotton and wheat.

The Committee was informed that production of certified seed was increasing every year. However, the adaptation of the certified seed posed formidable challenge.

The officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research maintained that the track and trace system, introduced last year, is yielding positive results.

The panel was informed that a ministerial committee has been established to negotiate with multinational companies to import high quality cotton seed and facilitate the transfer of latest seed technology.

It was outlined that cotton, owing to its competitive advantage, forward and backward linkages and contributions to the national economy, constituted the most important crop for Pakistan.

It was also revealed that last year’s intervention price had significant effect on increasing production.

The panel unanimously stressed the need for continuity and early announcement of the intervention price as well as increase in the minimum indicative price.

The panel was informed that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research plans to restructure the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC).

The Committee also tasked the representatives from the Sindh to approach the Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister of Sindh to become effective part of the Agriculture Transformation Plan.

The members stated that the sale of adulterated and inferior quality of agricultural inputs continue to rob farmers of the prospects of decent profitability.

The members urged the panel and the concerned officials to devise a vibrant regulatory framework and adopt stringent measures to prevent adulteration of the agricultural inputs particularly fertilizers and pesticides.

It was stressed that the federal government and the provincial governments should jointly evolve an institutional and legal framework to ensure zero tolerance for adulteration of the agricultural inputs.

The Committee recommended concrete lining of Balochistan’s Kachhi canal in Phase-II and Phase-III of the Kachhi Canal project and establishment of link channel between PAT Feeder and Kachhi Canal.

It was highlighted that the initiative would bring additional 0.7 million land under cultivation.

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Posted on: 2022-02-17T22:42:58+05:00

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