KARACHI: The demand of growers and ginners to the government for implementing copyright for cottonseed has been remained a far cry since a decade, leading traders and growers maintained. Around 80 percent of the total cultivation is Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) cotton in Sindh while 70 percent is in Punjab. Multan division is the largest traditional cotton production area in the world, which produces approximately 702,000 bales on average during every crop season. On the other hand government has been remained unable to meet its lint target in last many years and it was due to provision of copyrights to the foreign seed and hybrid companies in order to save crops from spurious seeds. The members of Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) at Karachi Cotton Exchange, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, leading growers besides experts on synthetic insecticides were of the view that Minister of Textile and concerned government quarters should consider obtaining foreign assistance for the development of hybrid seeds and facilities of Research and Development in this sector. Due to use of fake seeds and use of pesticides and germicides on cotton without expert opinion, the growers were suffering. The cotton fields in Multan Division and in Sindh growing parts have been affecting with mealy bug, white fly and bollworm for many years. Punjab produces more than 70 percent of the total yield of Pakistan, which stands to around 12.45 million bales on average during past many years, contrary below the target every year by around 6 million bales. Ghulam Rabbani, senior member KCA was of the opinion that poor water-management besides absence of R&D facilities and non-coordination between government and real stakeholders of the sector has been affecting the lint production of the country. He stressed for adopting modern agricultural practices to improve and upgrade the cropping standards in Pakistan. He urged the need for improving diversity of cultivars, eco-friendly and cost-effective pest management practices, efficient supply system, commercialisation of variegated and alternative usage of crop produce. A senior member of PCGA and leading grower in Sindh cotton belt region, Rana Abdul Sattar said quality and the volume of the crop, especially the BT variety of cotton would not improve because until use of uncertified seeds prevails. Pakistan will not able to achieve next cotton crop estimated target of 13.75 million bales of cotton in 2017-18 unless production of quality seeds, supply of quality inputs and water availability is not assured, he maintained. There was a need of experts from multinational companies in the field in order to help and guide growers to produce quality seeds. He said only two-three seed institutes, one in Sindh and the other in Punjab, cannot produce and cater to the supply of quality seed to the growers. Due to lack of competency, the farmers would face financial crunch while country would likely to import around 2 million bales in next crop season to meet the textile sector’s requirements. He said a vast cotton belt remained prone to attack of mealy bug and reddening of leaf, where 90 percent of BT cotton crop was sown. The federal government set the target of around 13.80 million cotton bales for the crop season. Punjab’s target is to produce 10 million bales while Sindh will produce three plus million bales. Published in Daily Times, September 13th 2017.