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    Sunday, 15 July 2018

    Australian High Commissioner emphasis on broadening the bilateral trade

    MULTAN, July 15th: Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson stressed the  need to broaden the range of products we trade in to give a fillip to our bilateral trade in order to rationalise the balance of payments situation and give impetus to each others’ trade potential. Delivering her speech at meeting of Multan Chamber of Commerce & industry chaired by Khawaja Muhammad Farooq Vice President of MCCI while Khawaja  Jalaluddin Roomi ex-president of MCCI was chief guest,She  underscored the need for further increasing the interaction between the trade communities of both the countries, remarking that things were progressing in the right direction. “It could not be denied that things are progressing in the right direction.” She went out of her way to pinpoint Pakistan’s tourism potential and said that a vast territory featuring all kinds of diverse terrain, Pakistan was an ideal tourist’s paradise. She said it could hold massive attraction for Australian tourists with the required foreign exchange accruing to Pakistan through this activity. Australia, she said, could render valuable service in the agriculture and dairy products sector.Adamson said this sector would be highly interested in investing in Pakistan’s mining sector. 
    The high commissioner said Pakistani products like mangoes and textiles had a great scope in Australia. she said the current volume of trade between the two countries was to the tune of 6.50 million dollars, with the balance of payments tilting in favour of Australia. She said there was lots of potential to enhance the trade and rationalise the balance of payments. In this context, she mentioned commodities like rice and spices which, she said, had a potential market in Australia. Explaining the details ,She said that the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global sustainability initiative which establishes global standards for cotton production that are more sustainable and positively impact on the lives of those in the supply chain. It does this by bringing together cotton’s complex supply chain, from farmers to retailers. Better farm practices, lower farming costs, higher yields, better profits. Supporting farmers to secure future business, particularly through access to a mainstream, responsible sourcing option for cotton. Improved environment management.Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world but currently has little access to the growing, high value, sustainable cotton market. This partnership will support the training of an estimated 200,000 farmers in Pakistan so they can become BCI accredited, opening up a huge opportunity for farmers to be engaged in safer, more sustainable farming operations and with a product that is growing in demand.
    This partnership will support the training of an estimated 200,000 farmers in Pakistan so they can become part of the BCI, and access the growing global market for sustainably produced cotton. Cotton Australia is providing their expertise on the back of Australia’s recent accreditation under the BCI.Good progress was made in the 2017 cotton season. While the number of farmers trained in the Better Cotton Standard System was slightly under target, the overall area planted and resulting yield was above target. A key success factor for the partnership was the technical support provided by Cotton Australia. This has resulted in technology transfer around Integrated Pest Management and other best practices that can be adapted for Pakistani farmers.In Pakistan overall, 288,930 farmers have received training in the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS). Of these, 55,750 farmers were trained as result of the BPP initiative (just under target) which supports three sub-contracts with NGOs. The trained farmers planted 187,254 hectares of better cotton (above target) which yielded 820,526 metric tonnes of cotton (above target).New field staff have also been trained and existing ones have received refresher training.
    This will improve the quality of the Better Cotton Initiative Assurance Program.The Better Cotton Assurance Program was implemented and 94 per cent of farmers produced cotton which qualified for licensing as Better Cotton. The Better Cotton Assurance Program recorded farmer data and supported farmers by providing a Farmer Field Book for record keeping and learning purposes. BCI and Cotton Australia organised a second meeting in August 2017 to discuss management and production practices in Australia and Pakistan. The meeting focused on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques and was attended by cotton farmers and representatives from BCI and Cotton Australia.M.Anis Khawaja raised many questions relating to the quality of cotton ,Muzaffar Khan Khakwani discussed the improvement of Mango processing, Suhail Mehmood Haral of PCGA appreciated the services provided by Australia for producing good quality cotton. Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said that spinners and textile miller are ready premium more and more to the producers of good quality cotton.
    He said that Australia should launch its programme in Multan and surrounding areas Imran Ahmed of Australian Embassy said that we are ready to invite the delegations of farmers /growers /exporters and manufacturers from Multan .Kashan Ahmed a Mango grower also  raised question about the improvement of Manfgo quality.Khawaja Muhammad Farooq, Khurranm Javed Butt  and others took p[art in discussion.Later Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi presented a crest of Multan Chamber to the guest.
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