Cotton Control Act implementation can help increase crop production

MULTAN (APP): Chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) Haji Muhammad Akram has said that national cotton production can be elevated up to 15 million bales provided Cotton Control Act is implemented in letter and spirit. Talking to APP, he said, according to our assessment and information, cotton production would remain between 11.5 to 12 million bales this year with expectations of rise in production in Punjab and some reduction in Sindh. He declared cotton as the biggest crop that earns sizable foreign exchange and provide livelihood to numerous families. Haji Akram cited factors including higher power tariff for tube wells, water shortage, no announcement of support price and substandard/fake seeds as the factors behind lower production results. He said that Pakistan had once touched 15 million bales production mark which now has reduced to 11.5 million bales.He said that water table in most of the cotton producing areas has either gone down or is saline.

PCGA chairman underlined the need for bringing improvement in efficiency of agriculture department and research bodies.

He urged the government to extend support to each ginning factory to introduce upgraded ginning technology for production of clean cotton.

He said that there were 1300 ginning factories in the country and each needed investment of at least Rs 5 million for upgradation. This support can be extended to factories in phases, he added.

Haji Akram said that domestic textile sector need 15 million bales every year and they also import cotton in addition to utilizing home grown cotton. He opined that instead of spending dollars on import of cotton, government should invest on facilitating local farmers to produce best quality cotton.

Zia Alamdar elected FCCI president unopposed

FAISALABAD (APP): Syed Zia Alamdar Hussain of Fashion and Trends has been elected unopposed president of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) for the year 2018-19. A meeting of FCCI Election Commission was held here which was attended by Muzzamil Sultan, Chaudhry Muhammad Nawaz and Hajji Muhammad Ramzan in addition to Secretary General Abid Masood. Muzzamil Sultan said that only one nomination paper each for three offices including president, senior vice president and vice president were filed for contesting election for the slots. After scrutiny, the nomination papers were declared valid and hence, according to provisional result, Syed Zia Alamdar of Fashion and Trends, Tanveer Ahmed of Mian Medicos and Engineer Ihtesham Javaid of Jubilee Textile were declared President, SVP and VP unopposed, respectively. Chaudhry Muhammad Nawaz said that Zia Alamdar and Ihtesham Javaid belong to Corporate Class while Mian Tanveer hails from Associate Class.

Similarly, Zia Alamdar represents hosiery sector, Mian Tanveer pharmaceutical and Ihtesham Javaid belongs to processing sector.

Hajji Ramzan said the official announcement of final result would be made during Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FCCI on September 29, 2018.

Time running out to tackle climate change problems: BARC

ISLAMABAD (APP): Balochistan Agriculture Research Council (BARC) Monday warned the province was the most affected from climate change and time was running out to take necessary measures for tackling problems in this regard. Talking to APP, BARC Director General Abdul Hanan said the council was not able to complete its ongoing projects due to low financial resources and administrative issues. “The provincial office does not have a separate bank’s current account and the existing assignment account is unable to facilitate the process,” he said. He said BARC is unable to complete its day to day tasks as every time it has to go to Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Islamabad for fulfilling it financial needs for several projects. “If we have a current account in bank then we can deal with our issues from here only,” he said. He said the water level in Balochistan has gone down from 80 to1000 feet because of severe climate changes.

Speaking about the initiatives taken to tackle the climate change issues, he said BARC was working on planting low water-consuming plants like pistachio, olive and saffron in the province to resist climate change. “BARC will also cultivate 100,000 more olive saplings in the province,” he said.

Hanan stressed the need to educate farmers through awareness workshops and training sessions for the use of modern farming methods. "We should aware farmers about the importance of water and must convince them to adopt modern agriculture techniques like drip irrigation to fight scarcity of water," he said.

Responding to a question, he said BARC has established dates processing plant in Kherpure.

He said more and more plantation of fruit trees was important to reduce food insecurity and to help earn revenue by exporting.

“Demand for pulses was increasing day by day and there was need to develop improved management practices to motivate farmers to meet the demand,” he said.

He said BARC is also working on wheat drought resilience to find feasible solutions to prepare the province to fight against the impacts of global climate change in the years ahead. “The provincial government was coordinating with BARC to take effective steps for the betterment of agriculture sector in Balochistan,” he said.

Urea production starts on gas resumption

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The local production of urea started on Tuesday as gas supply to closed fertiliser plants has been started. According to a handout, Fatima fertliser is also likely to resume production shortly, adding to the domestic production. Industry appreciated gesture of government, the ministries of Industries and Production, and Finance and Petroleum, and especially Abdur Razzaq Dawood, advisor to prime minister on industries, and Asad Umer, finance minister. Shortage of local gas and high prices of imported LNG in the country has created major challenges for this sector – which is among the biggest revenue contributors to Pakistan’s exchequer. Furthermore, if the domestic production is not supported, the shortage of urea may occur, forcing costly imports and volatility in prices. Gas to manufacturers on SNGPL has remained highly erratic, causing major disruptions and shut-downs in the production of these enterprises suffering heavy financial losses.