ISLAMABAD (APP) - Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) has approved Rs 288.711 million budget for the year 2010-11 besides increasing cotton cess by Rs. 50 per bale to generate and spend more on the agriculture research. Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal chaired the 79th meeting of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee here on Monday. Nazar Gondal said that the previously charged cotton cess of Rs. 20 per bale has been increased to Rs. 50 in consultation with All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) to generate revenue for agriculture research in the country. The minister said that cotton cess had not been increased in the last three years and the willingness of stakeholders to increase the cess will pay its dividends in the shape of better research outcomes by the scientists. Cotton is an exceedingly important crop for industry and the government is trying its best to increases the production of the crop adding that agreement with Monsanto is a step in that direction, he said. Internationally compatible pricing for agriculture produces is an ideal mechanism to motivate the farmers. Agriculture research base to be enhanced to increase the per acre yield to meet the growing demands of the country, he added. He said that agriculture scientists are very important and progress in agriculture sector is not possible without their dedicated efforts. The minister said that 11 million cotton bales production are expected despite this year despite the most catastrophic floods in the country. Nazar Gondal stressed the importance of scientific research in agriculture and lauded the efforts of scientists for their invaluable contributions.