The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee of Pakistan at its first meeting which was held with Secretary Textile Industry Ms Rukhsana Shah in the chair on Thursday has set a target of 13.5395 million cotton bales for the crop season 2014-15.
The representative from Crop Reporting Service Department, Punjab, informed the meeting that target for cotton area was set at 2.428 million hectare during the current season, while cotton was sown at 2.352 million hectares depicting 3.13 percent less than the target while it was 6.97 percent more than that of last year sown area (2.199 million hectares).
However, the current year floods damaged standing cotton at around 86,000 acres and by reducing flood affected area from the sown area, the actual cotton area stands at 2.266 million hectares. The cotton crop in the province was much better than last year and CLCuV was also significantly less. The province was expected to produce around 9.53 million bales of 170 kgs despite damages due to floods.
The representative from Agriculture Department Sindh stated that cotton sowing was targeted at 0.650 million hectares while it was sown on 0.595 million hectares depicting a shortfall of 8.46 percent and 4.75 percent more than the sown area during last year (0.568 million hectares).
The representative from Agriculture Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stated that cotton crop was sown at an area of 3300 hectares. The farmers of the area were not much educated in cotton crop management. Due to non-existence of a cotton ginning factory in the province, farmers were reluctant to grow cotton. Farmer members from Punjab stressed for intervention of Trading Corporation of Pakistan at the earliest as cotton season was to end soon.
However, the representative from Agriculture Department said that the benefit of intervention price for seed cotton must be assured for farmers. They also demanded to withdraw recent levy of tax @ 5 percent on cotton seed cake to reduce its higher cost for feeding animals especially in the flood-affected areas and to raise cotton prices. The Secretary Textile Industry stressed upon scientists to check the effects of pesticides in oil and cake produced through cotton crop by applying a number of poisonous sprays.
Since Pakistan was a signatory to various international laws/obligations so "they must focus on producing better cotton which can not only benefit farmers in reducing cost of production but also be exported at higher prices. She also directed to immediately initiate a pilot project for the construction of a cotton ginning factory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to overcome the problem of cotton marketing in the province. She assured the farmers that all-out efforts would be made for earliest possible intervention of TCP for procuring seed cotton so that farmers could benefit from the ECC decision. The meeting unanimously agreed to assess the cotton crop size during the year 2014-15 as below:
Punjab is expected to produce 9.5380 million bales of cotton, Sindh 3.6000 million bales, Balochistan 0.4000 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.0015 million bales.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Karachi Cotton Association, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, provincial research and extension officials, and cotton farmers.
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