Dire cotton supply situation

The country’s cotton output faces a shortfall of 0.664 million bales or 26.41 per cent compared to same period last year, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA) Chairman Mian Mahmood Ahmed said the promised incentives to cotton growers for achieving higher cotton production target were never released by the government.

The government had officially announced to fix indicative price of Rs4,000 per 40kg for phutti (seed cotton) to encourage growers to bring more area under cotton cultivation. However, the government failed to set the price at announced level.

Similarly, he said that despite agreeing during the several high-level meetings to engage Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) for the procurement of around 0.5m bales to stabilise cotton prices in the market, the government also backtracked on this promise.

According to ginners, much of the area under cotton cultivation has been replaced by sugarcane crop as the government was giving export subsidy to sugar producers. Similarly, growers had also shifted toward corn as they could get three crops in a single year.

According to an expert, high temperatures in Punjab are retarding cotton and resulting in lower production. On the other hand, cotton crop in Sindh suffered due to heavy rains and gusty winds, which resulted quantitative as well as qualitative loss in Sindh.

The output is further aggravated by pest attacks.

The cotton production in Punjab as of Sept 15, recorded a steep fall at 0.598m bales as against 0.980m bales produced in the corresponding period last year.

Cotton crop in Sindh also recorded a shortfall but fared better by producing 1.254m bales as against 1.537m bales recorded in the same period last year. This shows a shortfall of 0.283m bales or 18.42pc.

There is also a glaring difference in the pattern of fortnightly (Sept 1-15) arrival of phutti, which recorded a steep fall from 2.517m bales to 0.496m bales


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