by Mariam Raheem
Recently, Pakistan’s cotton crop has seen a whopping reduction in its production. Cotton has continued to weaken in recent years due to pests, weed infestation, low yield seed, climate change, technological backwardness, improper IPR regime, less technology transfer, etc. To resolve this problem in the long run, it is necessary to revive the viability of farmers to grow cotton by bringing all possible technology.
The above views were expressed by Mr. Shahid Abdullah, CEO, Sapphire Fibres Ltd, in an interview with Gwadar Pro recently. It is learned that the export share of the textile sectors will be projected to increase to $20 billion in the new financial year as compared to exports of the last year that were registered at $15.5 billion. In the general situation of reduced cotton production, Pakistan must resume its cotton production to achieve the textile export target.
The acreage of the cotton crop is shrinking due to the non-profitability of the cotton crop as compared to maize, paddy and sugarcane. To make cotton growing more profitable and enhance growers’ confidence, Shahid Abdullah highlighted that measures including the application of laser land leveling, promotion of cotton seeds high-power propagation, use of pesticides through drones, and establishment of corresponding research centers should be taken. “Pakistan has a lot of uncultivated lands on which cotton can be grown and mechanized farming and capital investment are needed to obtain best practices.”
Pakistan has not maintained seed development, which is a very important factor with international requirements. “We have formed Sanifa Agri Services Ltd with Fatima Fertilizer, Nishat Mills which is committed to uplift the agriculture base in the country by providing innovative and top-class seed to farmers,” Shahid explained that, “China has high-quality cotton seeds and we can benefit from Chinese experience as new technology will be available from many Chinese companies. Not only on the BT cotton, but we can develop the complete supply chain by advanced technology.”