Experts for promoting quality cotton production to enhance farm incomes

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ISLAMABAD – International Cotton experts here on Wednesday called for cultivating insect resistant cotton crop varieties to minimize the pest attack on the cash crop for production of quality crops.

This strategy would not only help boost quality crop production but also help enhance farm income, the experts said while addressing the 75th plenary meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).

They were of the view that the excessive use of pesticides should be avoided which is creating environmental hazards.

The event has been organized by the Ministry of Textile Industry which is being attended by the 400 delegates from 30 members states including Director General ICAC Jose Sethi.

The experts stressed the need for using efficiently all the agriculture inputs including water, fertilizers and other pesticides to enhance productivity.

They said that flood irrigation for cotton crop was reducing the ground water level and available water resources were facing immense pressure due to increasing population across the globe.

Speaking on the occasion, Cotton Commissioner, Dr. Khalid Abdullah said that the experts participating in the event shared the outbreak of cotton diseases including different pests attacks on the crop.
The experts had shared their experiences to control such attacks, adding that it would be incorporated in policy making to control any outbreak in future.

He said that the event had also discussed the different technology transfer collaborations with different cotton producing countries, which, he said, would help to enhance the local crop production.

He said that Pakistan was producing average 700-750 kg cotton from per hectare which was low as compared to the production of the regional countries.

He informed that some areas in Sindh province were producing average 1000 kg per hectares, which indicates that local crop has potential to achieve the highest crop.

During the Wednesday’s session, the participants recommended to adopted them for next year’s (2017) ICAC meeting” as “Opportunities and Challenges in Technology Transfer.”

In total three topics were discussed for next year’s meeting including “Future of Biotech Cotton”, “Opportunities and Challenges for Technology Transfer” and “Reducing the Containment of Cotton.”

However, with the majority’s opinion, the representatives selected the technology transfer topic for the purpose with the arguments that it would help transfer of technology and lead to promote cotton output by small growers.

Meanwhile, talking to Media persons, Cotton Commissioner said that the conference would pave way for promotion of cotton sector in the country, which has been facing challenges in the country.

Renowned agriculture experts, Dr. Abid Ayub and Dr. Naveed also highlighted the importance of the conference, saying that it would help Pakistani scientists to promote quality cotton production in the country.

The scientists would now be more informed to devise strategies to enhance crop production and raise income of small farmers.