Cotton crop growers in Punjab find themselves in a precarious situation as the prices of the cotton crop continue to plummet. In this blog post, we will delve into the recent developments surrounding the cotton crop, the measures taken by the government to support growers, and the current update on the situation.
Previous Government Initiatives to Ensure Fair Prices
In a recent meeting chaired by Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, discussions were held to address the issue of cotton crop support price. The government reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that cotton growers receive the fixed price for their crops, setting a minimum rate of 8,500 rupees per maund. CM Mohsin Naqvi advised farmers not to undersell their crops and assured them of the government's dedication to securing fair prices. Efforts were also made to eliminate illegal settlements and encroachments along riverbanks to mitigate flood threats and safeguard agricultural lands.
The government's interventions began earlier, with promises of a support price for the cotton crop and a subsidy on seed to incentivize farmers to increase cultivation. These measures were put in place to counterbalance the impact of poor crop production and falling international market rates experienced in the previous year. As a result, the cotton crop cultivation area witnessed a significant increase, reaching 6.9 million acres. Additionally, ongoing development projects, such as the Akbar Chowk flyover and the Walton-Main Boulevard, are progressing as planned, aiming to enhance transportation infrastructure and expedite economic growth in the region.
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What is Akbar Chowk Flyover Project?
The Akbar Chowk flyover project is likely to be inaugurated on August 14, 2023, sources in the CM office told mediamen on Sunday. In this connection, the Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi had already directed to complete the project as early as possible. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens of Johar Town, Faisal Town, Model Town and Township, Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate, PECO Road, and Canal Road would benefit from the construction of the Akbar Chowk flyover. Moreover, the Punjab caretaker CM while presiding over a meeting had strictly ordered to not cut even a single tree during the construction of the Akbar Chowk flyover, and the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) would buy the latest machinery for the safe relocation of trees, the sources told. It is important to mention here that protected U-turns are also being constructed at Akbar Chowk, Model Town Link Road, and Madar-e-Millat roads. Flyovers at both sides would be constructed from Jinnah Hospital up to PECO Morr.
Cotton Crop Growers Demand Urgent Government Action
Despite the initial optimism, the hopes of cotton growers have been shattered as ginning factories started reducing their offered rates from June 15 onwards. Distressed by the falling prices, growers have now called upon the government to activate the Trading Corporation of Pakistan to commence cotton buying at the support price. The federal government's intervention is urgently required to prevent further financial losses for farmers who have been hit hard by declining market rates.
Perturbed over the situation, cotton growers highlight the need for immediate government action. They urge the authorities to activate the Trading Corporation of Pakistan to start purchasing cotton at the promised support price of 8,500 rupees per maund. The activation of this trading corporation would not only provide financial relief to farmers but also ensure stability in the cotton market.
The cotton crop industry in Punjab faces a severe crisis due to falling prices, putting the livelihoods of farmers at stake. While the government has taken initial steps to support growers, urgent action is needed to activate the Trading Corporation of Pakistan and stabilize the market.