June 29, 2020: Technological modernization can increase cotton yield in the country. This was said by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on Saturday while meeting A two-member delegation of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA).
They discussed the cotton production situation in Pakistan. Mr. Sohail Javed Chairman PCGA iterated that the declining cotton production is affecting ginning sector, the most. As seed cotton (the raw material) for ginning factories cannot be imported.
They further added that cottonseed cake, a byproduct of cotton is used as livestock feed to enhance milk production, is subject to multiple taxes. They added that other issues like piled up tax refunds, slower buying of cotton by APTMA, and liquidity issues hampering the ginning sector adversely during the COVID 19 era.
They urged that the Ministry of NFSR must act to resolve their issues and save this sector. Minister NFSR admires their concerns of lower cotton production and assured that the Ministry is working on Chines Seed Technology for yield-enhancing and securing funds to lower the cost of production to make cotton production a profitable business.
Syed Fakhar Imam further added that Ministry would take up the Taxation issue with Finance Division and leave no stone unturned to get relief for the ginning sector. Mr. Imam asked Chairman Javed and Senior Vice Chairman Mr. Asim Shaikh of PCGA to send a set of proposals on how to modernize the ginning sector and upgrade technology to improve the quality of lint produced in Pakistan. Ginning is a process to separate the lint (Cotton) and seed (Benola) from the seed cotton or Phuti, it is the first process in cotton value chain.
Pakistan has over 1300 ginning factories installed across the cotton belt. These ginning factories have ability to gin 14 million bales but due to short production for the few years, only 800 factories were in operation last year.
It’s a seasonal business and that’s why most of the ginning factories also have oil extraction units to utilize the cottonseed and convert into oil and cottonseed cake. Oil goes to cooking oil industries or soap industry and cottonseed cake, which is rich in fibers, protein and oil, is used for animal feed.