Agri (Bosan briefed on rice and cotton crop)

Islamabad: Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan chaired a meeting to overview the plight of farmers due to higher cost of production and falling prices of agricultural commodities in international market.

Director General Agriculture Policy Institute Dr Aslam Gill and Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah briefed the minister on rice and cotton (2015-2016) Crop Intervention Price respectively.

DG API stated that rice production during 2014-2015 is estimated around 7 million tonne. The rice price in international market is likely to remain stable in view of normal demand and supply situation. API proposed that government may consider Intervention Price for rice paddy 2015-2016 crop around Rs 1800/40kg for Basmati in Punjab and Rs 850/40kg for IRRI paddy in Sindh in case of need.

In order to ensure sustainable production in the country it was agreed that government would set intervention price for rice paddy at appropriate time in order to support the rice growers.

Cotton commissioner briefed that cotton production was recorded 12-13 million bales and still ninety six thousand bales of cotton are present with TCP. Various mechanisms for intervention price were discussed for the upcoming cotton crop.

It was highlighted that despite surplus production, export of agricultural produce remained low as Pakistan lags behind in marketing. The federal minister directed to pay immediate attention to marketing and branding of Pakistani agricultural produce.

Secretary NFSR proposed that cropping patterns should be reviewed. Farmers must be given incentives on growing other crops as soya bean and pulses in addition to major crops.

It was agreed that a broad strategy should be devised immediately to tackle the upcoming difficult situation in lieu of low international market prices, taking provinces on board under the leadership of Prime Minister. Dr Farrukh Javed Minister Punjab, Minister for Agriculture KPK, Additional Secretary Agriculture KPK, Chairman PARC and Additional Secretary NFSR also attended the meeting.