A meeting was held by Pakistanâ€™s Federal Committee on Cotton (FCC) chaired by Rukhsana Shah, Secretary, Textile Industry Division on Thursday. The house willingly agreed to fix cotton production target for the next season (2014-15) 15.10 million bales from an area of 3.128 million hectare which is divided according to the production area as such: Punjab from 2.428 hectare will produce 10.5 million cotton bales, Sindh will grow on 0.650 million hectare land to produce 4.200 million cotton bales, Balochistan will cover 0.050 million hectare to produce 0.400 million cotton bales and KPK will covering 0.00035 million hectare land and produce 0.0015 million cotton bales.
The representative from Meteorological Department stated that lesser rainfall is anticipated from March to June in the cotton belt than the normal level which will result in increase maximum temperature to around 1 to 2 degree. Farmers can plan cotton sowing according to availability of irrigation water and anticipated rainfall and temperature.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) representative stated that the bank intends to grant loans of Rs.15 billion for cotton farmers during 2014-15 cotton crop season. Around 91 percent of ZTBL loan was disbursed to small farmers during 2013-14. Province-wise break-up of loan disbursement/consumption for cotton farmers during 2013-14 includes Punjab Rs 12.2 billion, Sindh Rs 1.8 billion, KP Rs 106 million, Balochistan Rs 13 million. The bank at the moment is charging 12 percent interest rate and the government/ECC has directed to maintain interest rate according to prevailing market rate. Secretary Ministry of Textile Industry stressed upon bank authorities to rationalise the interest rate and expansion of One-Window-Operation in co-ordination with Agriculture Department for facilitating, especially the small farmers.
While NDFC informed that availability of urea and DAP fertilisers is satisfactory and the government also intends to import 125,000 tons of urea for the coming Kharif season in order to avoid shortage. Moreover, the ECC has also fixed urea price of Rs 1786 per bag for both locally and imported urea. Secretary, MinTex has directed ECC to direct the fertilizer industry to move ahead and implement the same. She further requested to maintain transparency in the mechanism of determining prices.
Representatives of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), Punjab Seed Corporation, Sindh Seed Corporation, Pakistan Metrological Department, Federal Plant Protection Department, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Planning Commission, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), National Fertilizer Development Corporation (NFDC), Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSCR&D), Agriculture Department from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and cotton farmers attended the meeting.
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