With the help of provincial governments, the Pakistani government has launched a comprehensive training program for cotton growers in an effort to increase crop yields by introducing new techniques of cultivation and best practices in crop management for cotton production.
According to Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Dr. Khalid Abdullah, over 310 leading Punjabi farmers have received cotton production technology training, and they will go on to train other farmers at the gross root level in order to improve cotton production in the country.
In an interview with APP here on Monday, he said that these master trainers had received training in the latest cotton production technologies, including the use of mechanized agriculture, the latest cultivation tools, and other inputs to increase per-acre output.
The Better Cotton Initiative provided training to over 147 farmers in order to improve cotton production by using European production technologies, he said. He added that they were trained in proper cotton picking, health and safety, empowerment of women, and prevention of child labour.
He said that as Pakistan’s largest industrial sector, cotton plays an important role in the country’s economic development and is a major source of income for more than one million farmers. He added that the government has placed greater emphasis on the development of the crop and has introduced various incentives to encourage farmers to cultivate as much cotton as possible in order to ensure its long-term sustainability.
So, in order to protect the interests of local cotton growers, the government has announced and fixed a minimum support price for the current season at Rs 5,700 per 40 kg, as opposed to Rs 5,000 per 40 kg during the previous season.
According to Khalid Abdullah, the Cotton Crop Intervention Committee’s vigilance, according to Khalid Abdullah, helped keep the local cotton market stable last season. The committee was formed to ensure proper monitoring measures to keep local cotton markets stable, as well as to ensure a better return for farmers and protect them from exploitation.
“The Cotton Crop Intervention Policy” expired last season without any intervention, despite the fact that cotton crop prices remained stable above the benchmark of Rs5,000 per 40-kilogram last season, he said, adding that the policy was meant to intervene if cotton crop prices fell below Rs5,000 per 40kg.