ISLAMABAD – Cotton production during the current crop season is likely to remain 10.874 million bales as against the set target of 14.37 million bales, showing a decrease of 22 percent.
The low output was attributed to drastic climatic changes, prolonging weather pattern and acute water shortage during the crop sowing season in Sindh, said Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Dr Khalid Abdullah.
Talking to state-run media, he said that the cotton crop in the Sindh had remained under water stress due to below normal rain falls in crop growing areas of the province, whereas the water situation remained satisfactory in Punjab as compared to Sindh, which is likely to supplement the overall output in second and final estimation.
The crop production in the Punjab was estimated at 8.077 million bales, whereas in Sindh it was estimated at 2.600 million bales, adding that due to water stress, the overall 5-10 percent yield in Sindh was expected to reduce. In Balochistan, the cotton output was estimated at 0.150 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was estimated at 0.020 million bales and Balochistan 0.150 million bales respectively, he added.
However, he said that it was an initial estimate and figures of output may improve in second and third estimation as the weather was dry and pest attack was not reported so far.
The pest attack including cotton mealybugs, pink ball worm also reduced and it was reported at 23 percent as compared to 27 percent of same period of last year, he observed.
It may be recalled that cotton crop had been sown over 2.69 million hectares of land as against the fixed targets of 2.95 million hectares in order to produce over 14.37 million cotton bales during the crop season 2018-19.
The crop cultivation targets, fixed for the current sowing season, were achieved by over 91 percent as it went up by 2 percent as compared with the area under cotton crop cultivation during same period of last year.
Overall cotton was cultivated over 2.31 million hectares in province of Punjab, which registered about 11 percent growth, whereas it was reduced by 31 percent in Sindh.