Balochistan has great potential to produce organic cotton: Speakers

News Desk: 

QUETTA: To mark World Cotton Day, WWF–Pakistan’s Organic Cotton Programme, in collaboration with the Agriculture Extension Department (AED), organized a seminar on “Organic Cotton Production in Balochistan” at the auditorium of the University of Balochistan, Quetta. More than 80 people from different walks of life including representatives of textile groups, senior professionals from the agricultural field, and other government departments, academia and researchers, students, civil society, and farmers’ representatives participated in the seminar. Mr. Inam-ul-haq, Director General Balochistan Agriculture Research Institute was the chief guest on the occasion, while the honorable Vice Chancellor, University of Balochistan Dr. Shafiq-urRehman and Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. Syed Ainuddin also graced the event with their presence.   

Vice Chancellor Balochistan University, Dr. Shafiq ur Rehman addressing the seminar

“In developed societies, people are more conscious about their food and apparel and the demand for organic cotton and sustainable products is on the rise”

Hafiz Mohammad Bakhsh, Manager Organic Cotton Programme WWF-Pakistan, gave an overview of WWF–Pakistan’s organic cotton initiatives in Balochistan. He thoroughly briefed the participants on the organic cotton production system while emphasizing its positive impact on the environment, farmers’ livelihood, and the national economy. He stated that “In developed societies, people are more conscious about their food and apparel and the demand for organic cotton and sustainable products is on the rise. The province of Balochistan has great potential – due to its climate and vast areas of virgin land – for the cultivation and promotion of organic cotton”.


Dr. Habibullah Shah, Deputy Director Agriculture Department and the focal person for the Organic Cotton Programme highlighted the scope, potential, and challenges being faced in promoting organic cotton in Balochistan. He further said that “AED is a natural partner of WWF-Pakistan and farming communities in upscaling organic cultivation of cotton in the province, strengthening its supply chain and exploring new opportunities”.


Dr. Arif Shah Kakar, renowned entomologist from the Agriculture Department, explained in his presentation that organic farming promotes biodiversity and benefits the ecosystem as it discourages the use and application of GMOs, synthetic pesticides, and fertilizers, which are hazardous for human health and our environment. Sustainable farming methods are applied in organic cotton cultivation with less water required for irrigation, he added.

Crop diseases, low soil fertility and productivity issues need to be resolved: DG ARI


Mr. Inam-ul-haq, Director of General Agriculture Research Institute Balochistan thanked WWF-Pakistan and the AED for organizing such an important event in Quetta and emphasized the need for engaging research institutions for innovative solutions to manage problems and issues such as crop diseases, low soil fertility, and productivity, water scarcity and many more.


Dr. Shafiq-ur-rehman, Vice-Chancellor University of Balochistan said that; as evidenced by the recent floods, Pakistan has been facing the worst consequences of climate change, and we must revert back to sustainable practices in agriculture and other sectors to withstand and minimize the disastrous effects of climate change. Promoting organic agriculture could be one feasible and effective solution to most of the climate change-related issues being faced by the country.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.