Source: Business Recorder

August 27, 2013

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) on Monday revised downward the cotton production to 12.65 million bales against the initial estimates of 13.22 million bales for the current season 2013-14. The second meeting of CCAC was held here with Rukhsana Shah Federal Secretary Textile Industry Division in the chair.

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 province attended the meeting.

The committee met to assess the estimated volume of current cotton crop in the country. Dr Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner presented an overview of cotton crop production along with challenges faced by the cotton crop growers, especially low availability of irrigation water during sowing season, issues of seed quality, climate change as well as new pests and diseases attacking the cotton crop.

Representatives of the Government of Punjab explained the methodology for crop assessment and informed that 5,766,082 acres out of 6,000,000 acres of land have been planted which meets 96 percent of cotton sowing target.

He explained various reasons for not achieving the sowing target. The Director Crop Reporting Services explained that higher temperatures in June caused flower bud shedding resulting in lower number of bolls per plant against last year.

Representative of Government of Sindh stated that 1,410,793 acres out of 1,606,185 acres of target land had been sown, which is 88 percent of the target area. Farmer members from Sindh and Punjab highlighted emerging pest threats to the cotton crop and stressed upon the scientists for remedial measures and introduction of new BT technology to maximise cotton production.

Secretary emphasised on the availability of quality cotton seed which ensures enhanced production, and discussed the importance of clean cotton and implementation of quality standards and standard bale weight in the national interest.

Secretary, Textile Industry Division was informed that the variety approval process was delayed at the National Bio-safety centre (NBC) and all the newly developed varieties are in the pipeline for not getting certification from NBC.

Secretary textile Industry Division assured the house that the matter would be taken up with authorities concerned to ensure the availability of certified seed.

The house agreed that the crop estimates are based on the current situation in which sowing has been below the target:

Punjab is expected to produce 9 million against the initial projection of 9.6 million bales of cotton, Sindh 3.54 million bales (the same as projected), Balochistan 0.108 against 0.18 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.007 million bales.

(Source: Business Recorder)