Cotton production target scaled down third time

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Pakistan will miss the cotton target set for the current season (2015-16). The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) on Wednesday downward revised the estimated cotton target third time to 11.4 million bales against the initial estimate of 15.49 million bales, ie declined by 25.4 percent. The committee met with Secretary Amir Muhammad Khan Marwat in the chair while representatives from Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute, Karachi Cotton Association, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Provincial research and extension officials attended the meeting.

The committee was informed that pink bollworm and whitefly have severely attacked the crops in Sindh and Punjab. Further climate change, consistent rainfall has also negatively affected the cotton crops. The officials concerned told the body that due to low cotton prices last year, farmers were hesitant in utilising fertilisers, pesticides which resulted in poor crop management in the current season.

CCAC had already twice downward revised the cotton production estimates to 13.38 million bales against the initial estimate of 15.49 million bales for the current season (2015-16), however now the body set the new target at 11.4 million bales. Earlier cotton sowing target was missed by about 10 percent due to unprecedented rains during the early cotton sowing season. Due to low cotton price, the wheat harvest was prolonged and resultantly a significant decline in cotton sowing was registered; besides the heatwave had caused sever flowers shedding in cotton crops areas.

The government had set cotton target for 2015-16 at 15.49 million bales from 7.7 million acres. Punjab was projected to produce 10.5 million bales from 6 million acres; however it missed the sowing target and grew cotton on 5.6 million acres registering a decline of about 6 percent. The monsoon rains, floods and standing water affected cotton crop on about 0.9 million acres and CCAC revised the production estimate downward to 9.3 million bales. However after the pink bollworm and whitefly attacks, cotton crop is badly damaged and the projection was revised downward to 7.4 million bales.

Sindh was projected to produce 4.4 million bales from 1.6 million acres. The sowing was on 1.4 million acres thereby missing the target by 10 percent. After the monsoon rains and floods, the production estimate was revised downward to 3.5 million bales as standing crops on about 0.3 million acres were damaged.

The projected estimate was revised downward to 3.4 million bales after pink bollworm and whitefly attacks have badly affected the crop. Balochistan is projected to produce 0.58 million bales from 0.1 million acres against the initial target of 0.58 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.0015 million bales from 0.001 million acres, with no significant changes.

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