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Concerted efforts can help achieve cotton target
Tuesday, May-16-2017

KARACHI: It is not possible to ascertain the near-to-estimated cotton crop target without sharing input of members of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), Karachi Cotton Association (KCA), Cotton Ginners Forum (CGF), Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and real stakeholders of the sector.

For several years, Federal Cotton Committee sets target of 14 million bales, but later target had been trimmed by more than one million bales of cotton.

This tendency is disturbing for ginners, growers, textile spinning and cloth sector and exporters, members of these bodies asserted.

And moreover, the cotton production stands to range between 11 million to 12 million bales in several consecutive crop seasons.

This attitude of not taking all stakeholders across the board has not shown sign of any significant improvement in cotton output.

Ghualm Rabbani of PYMA said inter-sectoral coordination and efficiently working as a team could result in achieving near to target size of crop.

The country will have to import more than 2.5 million cotton bales to offset the affect of shortfall next season during February to June 2018.

The import will cost around $96 million to the country as production is remained below the target during season.

"Inadequate policies of the federal government besides non professional approach by Central Cotton Committee, setting the parameters to achieve target of crop will cost national exchequer to bear the brunt of heavy foreign earnings, Rabbani added.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were required to evaluate and monitor the release of biotech varieties in Pakistan.

The SOPs should be more transparent, efficient and professional and they should be streamlined without compromising on principles of bioenvironmental safety, he opined.

Rana Abdul Sattar of PCGA was of the view inPakistan, most of the BT cotton varieties were marketed with wrong notation of resistance to all pests. In some instances this variety was mixed with non-BT cottonseed and affected the yield.

KCA members stressed upon development of long and extra long staple cotton varieties in order to get premium prices while trading cotton internationally.

Ahsanul Haq of CGF was of the opinion that natural climatic condition and seed quality issues were major obstacles in achieving cotton production targets.

Moreover government asked farmers to sow cotton in mid April every season, which forced them to grow sunflower and maize to keep the land cultivable. However, after repeated suggestion and recommendation date has been revised, but the decision came late as farmers have already harvested several other minor crops.

It is estimated the cotton crop size for year 2017-18 in Punjab would stand at 10 million bales, Sindh at 3.60 million bales, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 0.0018 million bales and Balochistan at 0.1170 million bales respectively.

Courtesy Daily Pakisan

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