Cotton to be prime contributor in Pak economy

ISLAMABAD (Sarzameen News) – The International Cotton Advisory Committee, 75th Plenary Meeting continued for the fifth day at Islamabad.

The first session of the day having topic “the role of public sector in the cotton industry” was chaired by Mr. Abid Javed, Secretary, Ministry of Food Security and Research.

Aamer Shahzad made presentation on Pakistan’s policy on cotton and informed that cotton production was 14.2 during year 2004-05 and it was decreased to 10 million bales in 2015-16. Moreover, he mentioned various Policy instruments such as textiles Policy, Strategic Trade Policy Framework and Vision 2025 along with the organizations to implement the policy.

He said that cotton would continue to be prime contributor in Pakistan’s economy and government needs to facilitate to improve yield by carrying out necessary legislation such as enactment of Plant Breeders Right Bill and by providing support to reduce the cost of doing business.

Mr. Terry Townsend, A cotton analyst from USA, deliberated on the topic of “role of government in the cotton industry; first, do no harm’. He informed that world cotton mill use which was only 286,000 tons/year during 1950s increased to 27 million tons during 2007-08 however during next ten years despite increase in world’s population the world cotton production reduced by 3 million tons. He said that countries should stop giving support and subsidies to the polyester.

The second session of the day and over all 8th Open Session of the Plenary Meeting was chaired by Mr. Kanwar M. Usman, Director, Research, Development and Advisory Cell of Ministry of Textile Industry. The topic was Confronting Inter-Fiber Competition. The chair in his opening remarks mentioned that manmade fiber is the main threat to cotton as their consumption has now increased to 3 times as compared to cotton.

Ms. Lorena Ruiz from ICAC secretariat mentioned the demand and supply of cotton, cotton yarn and cotton fabric and compared with the manmade fiber based products specially polyester. She said that China is not only the second largest cotton producer by first largest polyester fiber and polyester filaments.

She also mentioned that in finished products the polyester based fiber mix has continuously been increasing. She said that main reasons for polyester dominance is due to its cheap and as it is manufactured in controlled environment so have better quality and less wastage. She said that it is important that we should have campaigns that Cotton is environment friendly so use cotton based products.

The second presentation of the session was made by Mr. Muhammad Ilyas Sarwar, a brilliant scientist from the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Multan and his presentation was on the utilization of cotton. It was interestingly to know that American Dollar is made of cotton linters. He said that cotton prices against polyester are important and increase in cotton yield is the solution.

The third presentation was made by Mr. Andreas Engelhardt, the publisher of “Fiber Year”. He said that situation is quite scary as polyester has a average growth rate of 7%.

Importantly he identified that production capacity of polyester feed stock is quite high and if more polyester would be required then production can be increased in no time.

He said that China is the biggest player and China’s although not the member of ICAC role would be important to determine the world demand and supply of manmade fibers and cotton. He said that cotton consumption is not likely to grow much in next five years,

However, polyester would increase much rapidly. The chair said that ICAC is the forum to devise strategy to promote and increase the utilization of cotton based products.

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