KARACHI: Pakistan is still unable to improve the quality and enhance volume of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) cotton variety and to use certified seeds, ginners and traders opined.
They were of the view that country would not be able to achieve next cotton crop target in 2017-18, which is set by the federal government at around 14 million bales.
Rana Abdul Sattar, former member Sindh Assembly and former chief Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association and Ghulam Rabbani, senior member Karachi Cotton Association, exporter, importer and ginner said unless production of quality seeds, supply of quality inputs and water availability is not assured, the production would reach only around 12 million bales.
They said cotton sowing season has started in April but went further late and the growers and farmers were unable to get certified seeds according to their demand.
According to a report, a broad range of countries was switching from cotton to other fibers attributed to price considerations.
Leading buyers remained under panicky conditions on several directions of foresights and analysis like one and the most discussed factor that might affect the arrival of coming crop and the yield-age due to shortage of water.
This is expected to become worst in summer when the water would be needed more than anything to the cotton crop. This might lead to a delay in fruiting of new crop as well affect the yield.
Cotton is one of the commodity markets that traders still see as relatively cheap, and the market remains in a short-term up trend despite not positive news from the USDA.
We were still lacking to fight against mealy bug and Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) attack. There was need of cotton experts and patent rights to the multinational companies in the field in order to help and guide growers to produce quality seeds in the country.
Seed institutes, one each in Sakrand in Sindh and Khanewal in Punjab, were unable to produce and cater the supply of quality seed to the growers.
Around 90 percent of the total cultivation in the country is BT type cotton. Nearly 90 percent of this type is cultivated in Sindh and about 60 percent is cultivated in Punjab.
He said concern was building that the mealy bug and CLCV would cause endanger to the country's largest cotton belt in Punjab. Next crop in India will be available in July-August 2018, in China during October-November and in US in the months of November-December 2018. The peak maturity months would be October-November.