Mian Shahid, chairman of United International Group, on Sunday demanded a bailout package for cotton farmers affected by recent collapse of the crop in Pakistan.
He stated that dismayed farmers were switching to other crops which could reduce area under cotton cultivation by 20 per cent which would further bring production down.
Textile sector would be hard pressed as four billion dollars would be needed to import cotton which would hit the foreign exchange reserves and gross domestic product growth, he added.
He urged to provide immediate attention to the textile sector of Pakistan which has helped the country earn 12 billion dollars through textile and cotton exports and also provided jobs to millions.
Shahid said that the main reason behind cotton collapse had been attributed to substandard imported seed which was not immune from pest attack as claimed and absence of any spray to kill pink bollworm which destroyed 60 per cent of the crop.
He also blamed reduced cotton prices at home and on the international market which had proved to be another disincentive for the millions of farmers depending on the cotton crop as they continued to pay heavy input prices.
Persistent rains this season also restricted the pesticides resulting in sharp fall in output which was beyond the control of anyone but use of BT seeds could have been controlled, he opined.
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