Source: International The News

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - KARACHI

The province of Sindh is all set to give the first production of cotton in the world for the next fiscal 2014 sometime in the last week of June or first week of July.

"The first production of cotton for the fiscal year 2014 (July 2013 to June 2014) will arrive into markets sometime in last week of June or first week of July," an official in the Sindh agriculture department said. Shakeel Ahmed, a cotton dealer and a member of prime minister's cotton committee, said that the production from Sindh will be the first one of the world for FY14. "The quality of cotton of the province is expected to remain good," he said after his recent visit to the cotton belt in the province.

The Sindh official further said that the sowing season of cotton in lower parts of Sindh was about to finish where farmers would start harvesting from June. "The sowing season in upper part of Sindh and the province of Punjab, however, will take time to be finished." Meanwhile, Dr M Ibrahim Mughal, chairman of Pakistan Agri Forum, said that the country had set a cotton production target of 15 million cotton bales (of 155 kilogram each) for the FY14.

He, however, remained suspicious about achieving the target. "The country continued to set 15 million bales production target for the last 10 years, but never achieved it throughout the decade."

The country has achieved a highest production of 14.8 million bales in the fiscal 2011 in the decade, he said, adding that the country produced 12.7 million bales in the outgoing fiscal 2013. Punjab produced 9.5 million bales from an area of six million acres of land, while Sindh produced 3.2 million bales from two million acres of land, he said.

The need of the cotton in country stands at 16 million bales, he added. He said that half-hearted development of cotton seed was a major cause for missing the set targets.

Beside, floods and harsh raining have also impacted cotton production for the last two-three years, he said. Pakistan is using BT cotton seeds for the last seven-eight years to increase cotton production, but it failed to achieve the set targets due to price manipulations of cotton in high production years, he said.

He further said that the country could produce 20 million bales of cotton from the same cultivation area of the country of eight million if the government focuses seriously on seed development production, ensure water and fertiliser availability as per requirement and make sure the cotton seeds sowing on time. (Source: International The News)