Call to safeguard rights of cotton growers
Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday asked the government to take meaningful steps to safeguard cotton growers from any untoward situation in the future lest it bring down the annual production.
He also demanded steps aimed at safeguarding the rights of planters who are in pain due to collapse of cotton crop. Mian Shahid said that low cotton output is hurting millions of families in the farming communities and it is to drag exports down and GDP which is unacceptable.
The reduced output is resulting in imports estimated to be to the tune of four billion dollars which will hit forex reserves, he said.
The cotton group, backbone of the economy hold 8.5 percent share in GDP, fetches 12 billion through exports while provide jobs to 40 percent of the labour which needs immediate attention of the government.
Reasons behind the low cotton output include sudden and unpredictable rains, draught in some areas, low cotton prices and unchecked hike in prices of inputs and use of substandard seed, he informed.
Authorities discounted local wisdom to promote genetically modified seed terming it pest resistant but it failed to withstand pink bollworm and whitefly attacks while sprays and medicine to tackle the pests were not available in the market. Calling immediate action, he said that delay can hurt the economy.