Pakistan govt approves restructuring of PCCC
ISLAMABAD — Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz here yesterday approved the restructuring of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) with a view to making it a more efficient, viable and independent organisation geared to improve the growth, marketing and the manufacture of cotton.
Presiding over a meeting to review cotton research and development framework and restructuring of PCCC, the premier gave guidelines about the revamping plan saying objective of the government is to increase production of the cotton and enhance farmers' income. He said this is only possible if PCCC makes improvements in different stages of cotton production cycle particularly, better seeds, fighting crop diseases and better crop pattern.
"Prosperity of farmers particularly small farmers is our objective and PCCC should focus on increasing yield through better seeds, extension of services, better cropping pattern, soil testing and use of biotechnology," Mr Aziz said.
He said that there is some improvement in cotton yield but more needs to be done. Cotton crop has a trickle down effect on the economy as a large number of people are connected to various segments of the textile industry, he added.
He asked the PCCC to expedite upgrading of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), Multan, to an international institute, initiate concerted programme for human resources development and intensify collaboration with international cotton research establishment.
Aziz emphasised the need for cutting edge research which should be done in a coordinated manner to avoid duplication and to achieve the best result. "Collaboration, coordination and cohesiveness between federal and provincial government and various research institutes is vital to get the best results," he said.
The prime minister expressed concern over slow pace of implementation of Bio-safety guideline and emphasised the need to expedite the process. He said that although the existing cooperation between growers, ginners, spinners and textile mills
is satisfactory. All stakeholders need to further improve coordination to adjust their strategies according to the changes taking place around the world.
He said Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) should coordinate with provincial governments for zoning of land and crop rotation for optimum use of land.
The agriculture ministry informed the meeting the objective of cotton R&D strategy is higher productivity and improved quality.
The ministry informed the meeting the PCCC would encourage private sector to invest in seed production and will try to bring about 25 per cent cultivated area by 2009-10 under Bt cotton. Virus resistant varieties will be made available by 2008-09.