Pakistan cotton production has been recorded at 10.5 million bales against the set target of 14.1 million bales for 2016-17, missing the cotton production target by around 25 percent.
Official sources revealed on Saturday that 10.5 million bales of cotton have been recorded so far and the number may reach 10.6 million bales by end-March (closing time); however, the number surpassed the cotton production of 9.7 million bales recorded during the same period of the last year (2015-16).
The country had missed the crop production target by around 30 percent in 2015-16 and it remained around 10 million bales which, according to the finance minister, had caused 0.5 per cent to GDP growth. The officials said that the crop prospects are not very good in the current season as well and may negatively affect the growth rate again.
The government downward revised the cotton production target as well as cotton cultivation area and fixed it at 14.1 million bales from 7.4 million acres of land for 2016-17 against 15.49 million bales from 7.7 million acres of land estimated for 2015-16.
According to the officials, lower prices in last year and less return from competing crops led to reduction in overall cotton sowing. This decrease in area is proportionately depicted in the production as well. The cotton sowing has decreased by 21 percent in Punjab but it increased by 2 percent in Sindh, with overall decrease of 15 percent than the last year.
Punjab was expected to produce 9.5 million cotton bales from 5.9 million acres, Sindh had to cover 1.6 million acres and was estimated to produce 4.5 million cotton bales, Balochistan had to grow cotton on 0.12 million acres and was targeted to produce 0.04 million cotton bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was targeted to cover about 74,000 acres and produce 0.0015 million cotton bales.
However, Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) revised downward cotton production estimates three times in the outgoing season. Punjab is now estimated to produce 6.903 million bales against the initial estimates of 9.5 million bales, Sindh, 3.6 million bales against 4.5 million bales, Balochistan, 0.038 million bales against initial estimate of 0.098 million bales, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is now estimated to produce 0.001 million bales against 0.0015 million bales.
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