Pak-China cooperation to revive cotton fields in Pakistan
The Pakistan-China cooperation to revive the cotton fields in Pakistan, Gwadar Pro reported on Sunday.
Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton last season, the lowest level in 30 years.
Meanwhile, the Pak-China cotton-related cooperation is in full swing. “We are blending the advantages of Chinese cotton and Pakistani cotton to create new varieties of cotton,” said Shahid Iqbal, a doctoral student at the Cotton Research Institute in Henan, China, who works for a seed program in China. Pak-China cotton in Henan for 4 years. .
It is one of the microcosms of the ongoing Sino-Pakistani cotton collaboration.
“Last year we had to import over 50% of the cotton,” said Muhammad Abdullah, executive director of Sapphire Fiber, one of Pakistan’s largest textile companies.
He complained that low production and quality force the local industry to choose imports. “Currently, the domestic consumption of cotton is 14 million bales. However, Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton in the last season alone. ” He added.
Cotton production in Pakistan is in a vicious cycle. According to research from the Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), low cotton production results in low profitability of cotton plantation. Cotton farmers are turning to sugar cane in cotton growing areas for better income. The sugar cane plants stole the water from the cotton plants and moistened the whole area.
The high humidity leads to more insects which are deadly to cotton plants and farmers have no technology to combat them.
What worsens the situation is the climate change of recent years, which also weakens the strength of cotton and the elongation of the fiber. Another quality issue is the impurity caused by 100% manual picking.
When the pickers have picked the cotton, stored it and transported it, contamination enters the cotton, which can cause stains on the final product. Kamran Razaq, cotton field supervisor of Sapphire Fiber, pointed out that the impurity content of imported cotton is 4.5%, while the counterpart of Pakistani cotton is 8-9%, which is below the criteria of textile factories.
To break the vicious circle of low cotton production, higher quality seeds are the main demand, which can also contribute to quality improvement.
“The heat resistance of Pakistani cotton is excellent. The high yielding and high quality characteristics of Chinese cotton are also what the seeds of Pakistan need. The genetic resources of China and Pakistan are complementary, ”said Shahid Iqbal, the guy who appeared at the beginning of the article, who was previously a science officer at the Cotton Research Institute in Multan. “We intend to send new cotton seeds to Pakistan next year for adaptability testing and to select the best ones and use them for production. “
Xinjiang Agricultural University and Faisalabad Agricultural University (UAF) have also been cooperating in cotton cultivation for some years. They have experimental fields in Faisalabad and plan to test mechanical harvesting in Pakistan.
“In northern Xinjiang, one of the largest cotton growing regions in China, mechanization is 90%. We use machine picking everywhere, ”said Chen Quanjia, deputy dean of Xinjiang Agricultural University, adding that drought-tolerant and water-saving technologies in Xinjiang including drip irrigation and mulching , are also at the forefront of the world.
“These technologies and equipment can be transferred to Pakistan to help them cope with the current dilemma. China and Pakistan must help each other to improve our cotton production together.
Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), revealed that a laboratory of excellence in modern biotechnology is about to be set up at CCRI to promote research activities on the cotton. avenues for cotton research and development in order to consolidate the PCCC on modern scientific bases, ”he declared.
“Within the framework of the CPEC, the CCRI of Multan had declared a cooperation on cottonseeds in collaboration with Fauji Fertilizer Company,” added Dr. Zahid Mehmood, Director of the CCRI. “We plan to cultivate related talents, introduce related technologies and develop areas for mechanical cotton picking. Our collaboration with China continues. Hope we will have success stories in the future.