ISLAMABAD – President Mamnoon Hussain Tuesday said the cotton growing countries should collectively address the issues and problems related to cotton industry and strengthen global cotton economy.
The president was addressing the delegates of 75th Plenary Meeting of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan and Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan were also present on the occasion.
He said the volatility of cotton prices in the international market, technological gap between developed and developing countries, pricing issues in textile industry and complex matters, such as branding in the trading world, were some of the challenges being faced by cotton industry and called for joint efforts to address these problems.
President Mamnoon Hussain said cotton industry has great significance for Pakistan as 60 per cent of country’s foreign exchange depended on this sector and it was also a mean for providing employment to skilled and unskilled workforce. He said Pakistan had made unprecedented progress in the areas of cotton production and industry over the past few decades and was looking forward to cooperate with the committee for growth and promotion of cotton industry for the benefit of growers and manufacturers.
The president noted that during the last few decades extraordinary changes had occurred in cotton crop and related industries, adding that new varieties of cotton were introduced which has changed techniques from cotton cultivation to production. It was imperative to understand and adapt to these changes and prepare ourselves for future innovations, he emphasized. He said similarly, over the last few years, some cotton diseases had also emerged whose harmful effects either affected the quality of cotton crop or its production.
The president highlighted that Cotton Leaf Curl Virus has emerged as a deadly threat for cotton crop which caused considerable damage to cotton production, noting that in Pakistan, over a course of just one year, 4 million cotton bales were damaged due to this virus which affected both the farmer and manufacturer. He stressed that in view of the international nature of the issue there was a need for concerted efforts from the cotton community to address the problem. The president underlined that cotton industry related problems demanded immediate consideration so that all related matters from farmer to manufacturer could be deliberated upon to evolve solutions.
It was essential that the Advisory Committee should be an effective international institution to assess such problems and present solutions, he said, adding this could be achieved if the Committee pursued its goals and meet on a continuous basis.
The president noted with appreciation that plenary meeting of Advisory Committee was being held in Pakistan after a long time which was home to excellent cotton crop and center of cotton weaving industry.
He appreciated Ministry of Textile Industry and Pakistan Central Cotton Committee on successfully organizing this plenary meeting and hoped that exchange of ideas and consultation between cotton producing, processing and trading countries would be a source for further improvement and progress in this sector.
Later, the President also hosted a reception dinner for delegates of International Cotton Advisory Committee.
Meanwhile, Executive Director, International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAS) Jose Sette has said Pakistan has huge potential in textile manufacturing to reach out in the international market.
“One of the greatest challenge for cotton sector in Pakistan is energy shortage, which need to be addressed for industrial growth in textile sector,” he said on the sideline of 75th Plenary Meeting of ICAS. He said efforts by the government to overcome the power shortage would play big role for revival of textile industry and enhance in manufacturing. He said the ICAC has the honor of holding its plenary meeting in Islamabad.
Source: The Nation