Pakistan is implausible to achieve cotton target of 15.49 million bales set for the current season (2015-16) against the revised target of 13.48 million bales for (2014-15 from 7.7 million acres as it has missed about ten percent of cotton sowing target due to unprecedented rains during the early cotton sowing season, official sources revealed.
Sources in the Ministry of Textile Industry said that there was a significant decline in cotton sowing due to exceptional rains during the early cotton sowing season and low cotton price, the wheat harvest was prolonged. Further, the recent heat wave led to shedding of cotton flowers while now standing water may kill cotton plants.
Punjab which produces about 70 percent of the total cotton is hit hard as sowing remained well below the target. Punjab was projected to produce 10.5 million bales from six million acres; however it missed the sowing target and the area under cultivation was 5.6 million acres registering a decline of about six percent.
Sindh was projected to produce 4.4 million bales from 1.6 million acres however only 1.4 million acres were cultivated and therefore the target were missed by 10 percent.
Balochistan was projected to produce 0.59 million bales from 0.1 million acres and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.00152 million bales from 0.001 million acres but they also missed the sowing targets. The cotton sowing target for the current season has been set one percent higher than last year.
The National Meteorological Department had apprised the last meeting of the Cotton Crops Assessment Committee that cotton season would receive normal rainfall. Further, low spell of rains was predicted in April in the Punjab province which would result in soil crust problem. However, the country received unprecedented rainfall in the period under review which negatively affected cotton crop. Moreover, grower who were hard hit last year due to lower cotton prices could not even cover cost grew less cotton this year.
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