ISLAMABAD: Cotton production in Pakistan has so far registered 11.7% lower as compared to last year’s production, reveals a fortnightly report on domestic cotton production issued by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA).
Government had set the cotton production target at 14.6 million bales for the current year, but later revised it downward to 13.3 million bales following flooding in some parts of the country.
According to a statement issued by the PCGA, the total domestic arrivals of seed cotton (phutti) up to March 15, 2013 were 12,845,070 bales, which is 1,703,775 bales (11.71%) lesser than the previous year. The report further details that, during the period, 9,445,703 bales equivalent seed cotton was received in ginning factories in Punjab, which was 2,434,274 bales (20.50%) lesser than previous year; whereas 3,399,367 bales equivalent seed cotton was received in ginning factories in Sindh, which is 730,499 bales (27.33%) higher than the previous year for the corresponding period.
The PCGA report says that up to March 15, total cotton exports stand at 328,931 bales, as compared to 1.0 million bales during the corresponding period of last year.
Ihsanul Haq, ex-executive member of PCGA, said that total domestic cotton production is assessed at 13 million bales for the year, whereas Pakistan needs 16 million bales to meet industrial and other requirements.
He further said that due to rains in the early cotton season of 2012, the germination capacity of seed fell to 55-60%, whereas standards require 75% germination for certified seed. This resulted in a shortage of certified seed in Sindh and Punjab. Hence, the Punjab Seed Corporation as well as the Seed Association of Pakistan has demanded that the federal government consider lowering the germination standards to 50%, so that farmers can get certified seed of cotton for the current planting season.
Haq also said told that the Federal Board of Revenue has decided to defer sales tax on the sale of cotton lint, and the present policy of zero sales tax will prevail.