Pakistan set to miss 14.1 million bales cotton output target

The country is going to miss the cotton production target this year as well and that too by a huge margin, which would further push the agriculture growth of the country into the negative zone.

According to Ministry of Textiles, a target of 14.1 million bales was set for the year 2016-17. However, cotton sowing fell short by 20.82% in Punjab, leading to overall 15.78% less sowing at the national level.

Since 2009, cotton production is on the decline while other competing crops outputs are increasing. In 2009-10, the cotton production was 12.91 million bales, in 2010-11 it reduced to 11.460 million bales, next year it was 13.59 million bales, and after gradually decreasing every year the cotton production decreased to 10.07 million bales in the year 2015-16.

In the meanwhile, the farmers started shifting to other crops from cotton to the production of competitive crops like sugarcane, rice and maize increased during last five years.

The major reason for the lower cotton sowing area was low cotton prices during the previous year (2015-16), said Dr Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles. Highlighting efforts of the government to support farmers in improving cotton production, and measures have been taken for ample supply of quality cotton seed and loans.

Quoting State Bank, he said an amount of Rs 700 billion has been allocated for agricultural loans to be disbursed by commercial banks and micro finance institutions. Out of this target, Rs 10 billion has so far been disbursed among 35,000 cotton farmers of Punjab and Sindh.

The SBP has also launched mandatory crop insurance policy for five major crops, including wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize, he said. He said Zarai Taraqiati Bank’s target for cotton crop-specific loans has been a target at 60% of total loans.


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