Islamabad, November 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): President Mamnoon Hussain has emphasized that cotton growing countries should collectively address the issues and problems related to cotton industry and strengthen global cotton economy. The President said this while addressing the delegates of 75th Plenary Meeting of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Tuesday. Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan and Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan were also present on the occasion.
The President noted that 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 are some of the challenges being faced by cotton industry and called for joint efforts to address these problems.
President Mamnoon Hussain said that cotton industry has great significance for Pakistan as 60% of country’s foreign exchange depends on this sector and it is also a mean for providing employment to skilled and unskilled workforce. The President stated that Pakistan has made unprecedented progress in the areas of cotton production and industry over the past few decades and is 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 have 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 is imperative to understand and adapt to these changes and prepare ourselves for future innovations, emphasized the President. Similarly, over the last few years, some cotton diseases have also emerged whose harmful effects either affected the quality of cotton crop or its production, added the President.
The President highlighted that Cotton Leaf Curl Virus has emerged as a deadly threat for cotton crop which has 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. The President stressed that in view of the international nature of the issue there is a need for concerted efforts from the cotton community to address the problem.
The President underlined that cotton industry related problems demand immediate consideration so that all related matters from farmer to manufacturer could be deliberated upon to evolve solutions. It is essential that the Advisory Committee should be an effective international institution to assess such problems and present solutions. This can be achieved if the Committee could pursue its goals and meet on a continuous basis, added the President.
The President noted with appreciation that plenary meeting of Advisory Committee is being held in Pakistan after a long time which is home to excellent cotton crop and center of cotton weaving industry. The President 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 will 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.
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