Safety and security concerns have hindered Pakistan’s textile and apparel exports so far this fiscal, the Bureau of Statistics said, but a bright spot has appeared on the horizon thanks to a new partnership.
WWF-Pakistan and the Agriculture Extension Department (AED) Balochistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Monday to work together to build organic cotton farmer capacity in the southwestern province in order to meet global standards.
Following an audit and inspection in 2015 of 500 cotton growers in the region’s Lasbela district, WWF-Pakistan this year launched a three-year organic cotton project encompassing not only Lasbela, but also the districts of Sibi and Barkhan.
According to a press release, the goal of the project is to improve the income and yield of organic cotton farmers through capacity building, which will be achieved by making production sustainable and involving supply chain actors so that an effective system is in place to source organic seed cotton, supported by creating a local and national facilitating environment.
“WWF-Pakistan aims to make cotton production sustainable and, in principle, will provide every possible support to the organic cotton farmers through its sustainable agriculture program (SAP),” Masood Ahmed Baloch, director general of AED Balochistan, declared.
Abdul Rahman Buzdar, secretary of agriculture in Balochistan, added, “The MoU will be helpful in bringing the farmers of Balochistan at par with international farming techniques.”
He noted, “Given what we expect to come out from this collaboration between the two organizations, we expect that it will be good tidings for our farming communities.”
Pakistan is currently the fifth largest producer of cotton in the world and the third largest exporter of raw cotton.