Cotton production target revised down for second time

September 24, 2013

TAHIR AMIN

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC)
The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC)

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has revised downward cotton production target for the second time in current season (2013-14) and set 11.95 million bales against the initial target of 13.22 million bales. The third meeting of the CCAC held with Rukhsana Shah, Federal Secretary Textile Industry Division, in the chair here on Monday to re-assess the second assessment of 12.655 million bales and the volume of current cotton crop in the country.

Representatives of Provincial Governments, Trading Co-operation of Pakistan (TCP), Cotton Growers, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), Karachi Cotton Association, Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) and cotton growers from Punjab and Sindh provinces attended the meeting. The CCAC in its first meeting projected cotton production target at 13.22 million bales for the current season (2013-14), however in its second meeting, the body downward revised the cotton production target to 12.65 million bales.

Dr Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, during the meeting, presented an overview of cotton crop production and challenges being faced by the cotton crop especially low availability of irrigation water at the time of sowing, problem of low germination of seed and its poor quality, flood damages and attack of cotton pests.

Representatives of the Government of Punjab Department of Crop Reporting Services told the committee that during 2013-14, cotton was planted on an area of 54,08000 acres against the target of 60,000,00 acres, showing 9 percent decrease from the set target and 5.2 percent decrease from the last year”s area sown. It was also informed that rain and floods further damaged 1, 20,000 acres of land and the losses estimation is yet to be calculated. Decrease in sowing was mainly attributed to the lower prices of cotton seed during last two-three years and farmers” preference towards maize, sugarcane and rice crops due to monetary advantages over cotton. Moreover, rains have delayed harvesting of potato crop in Upper Punjab, which has also resulted in late/less sowing of cotton crop in those areas.

Representative of Department of Crop Reporting Services Government of Sindh stated that 14,19,656 acres of land was sown against 1,60,62,150 acres of land during last year, depicting 13 percent decrease in sowing. He further stated that early sown cotton crop in Lower Sindh is attacked by Pink bollworm and Mealybug while 5-10 percent of Kacha area was damaged due to floods in Upper Sindh.

Farmer members from Sindh and Punjab showed concern over the decreasing trend of plant population, poor seed quality and increasing cost of essential inputs. Cotton growers also wowed over the pesticide issue for the government policy of granting trade name to generic pesticides which results in higher prices and cause confusion for farmers as well. The Chair took a notice of the issue and ensured to take up the matter with relevant Division. She further emphasised the need for quality cotton seed which ensures enhanced production and directed the PCGA to keep standard bale weight in the national interest.

The secretary emphasised over the proper implementation of Cotton Control Ordinance 1966 to resolve the contamination and standardisation issues. She told the participants that Textile Industry Division is co-ordinating with the provincial governments in this regard and variety approval process has been delayed at the National Bio-safety Center (NBC) and an urgent meeting will be called to resolve the issue.

The body agreed on the following crop estimates based on the available information: Punjab would produce 8.7 million bales against the initial projection of 9.6 million bales of cotton, Sindh 3.15 million bales against 3.5 million bales, Balochistan 0.108 against 0.18 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.00043 million bales. Courtesy Business Recorder

Published in ZaraiMedia.com

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