CONTAMINATION FREE COTTON
The PCSI has evolved guidelines to achieve the goal of producing contamination free cotton
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Sep 10 - 16, 2001
The agriculture sector once again estimated to produce over 11 million of cotton bales this year, the interesting factor however is that a major portion of the total produce will be contamination free cotton.
Major players in the cotton sector i.e. Karachi Cotton Association (KCA), Pakistan Ginners Association and the exporters have appreciated the first ever initiative taken by the government for image building of the cotton sector in Pakistan.
Shakoor Dada, Chairman, KCA talking to PAGE said that because of contaminated cotton, Pakistan's cotton and cotton yarn were not fetching the deserving price in the international market. He was of the opinion that once the cotton sector succeeded in establishing its reputation as the producer of contaminated free cotton, the value of our products will also go up in terms of money also. However it will certainly take time to achieve that image.
He said that the government has taken various measures for improving the quality and standard of the cotton and cotton products besides increasing the under cultivation area for cotton crop. He expressed the hope that the benefits of these efforts would also be passed on to the growers. He said that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government has offered attractive incentives to the growers in the Province of Balochistan. These incentives include distribution of free cottonseed, exemption of levies, supplies of irrigation water to the growers in Balochistan. All these steps are likely to make the Province of Balochistan a major contributor of cotton crop in the years to come.
Shakoor Dada said that the major reason for contaminating the cotton crop is the carelessness on the part of the growers at the picking stage, transportation of cotton in jute or poly bags, which he feels, are the major polluters of the cotton. He expressed the hope that under the guidelines provided by the experts for picking, packaging, transportation and ginning of the cotton, Pakistan will certainly achieve the target of producing contamination free cotton in near future.
The quality conscious and choosy International market has forced the International players in the export sector to do home work before entering the export market. In the demanding export market the quality and grade are the winning point, hence the local cotton market, producers and ginners and exporters have started realizing the importance of quality and grade of cotton fetch a better price. Realizing the issue means half of the problem is resolved and that trend is growing among the ginners in Pakistan also to achieve better quality cotton for producing contamination free cotton.
Improved ginning is the basic requirement for producing contamination free quality cotton. The government of Pakistan is also attaching great importance to grading system in cotton sector so that adopting the grading system in Pakistan could produce cotton of international standards. Quality cotton would certainly add value to our cotton yarn thus helping to fetch better prices in the export market.
In accordance with the new policy, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association would pay an additional amount of Rs200 per maund of contamination free cotton to the ginners. While a premium of Rs75 per maund would be paid on lesser-contaminated (2.5 gram per bale) of cotton. This is an incentive to the ginners for taking care in the ginning process.
The Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) has evolved guidelines to achieve the goal of producing contamination free cotton in Pakistan. The PCSI has recommended that cotton bags or open trolley should be used for transportation of phutti from farm to ginning factory. The grading system should be introduced within every ginning factory. The purchase of phutti is made on the basis of grade of the cotton instead of relying on the variety of the cotton to motivate the growers for clean picking of the cotton. Before start of the ginning process, phutti should be spread over the brick platform under the sun to ensure it does not contain any moisture, or foreign elements such as jute fiber or pieces of plastic or ploy bags etc. Phutti should also be passed through pre-cleaners to filter it from any contamination within it. The pre-cleaning, ginning and post cleaning machinery should be in the best order to get better results. The ginned cotton should be allowed to contain more than 8 per cent of the moisture after going through the ginning process.
It is not advisable to spray water through pipe on cotton bags, as the water spray not only discolors the cotton but also adversely affects crispiness of the cotton. Every ginning factory should house a reasonable sample room under the supervision of the trained cotton classifiers so that cotton could be tested in accordance to the standards of the specimen of the graded cotton under the new system.