ISLAMABAD: The country will not be able to achieve the target set for cotton production this year as the estimated production will be 8.597 million bales against a target of 10.89 million bales, Syed Fakhr Imam, Minister for National Food Security and Research, told a meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee on Friday.
According to the minister, the main reasons for low cotton production are: poor seed quality, lack of new seed technology, climate change, heat wave, cotton leaf curl virus, pink bollworm and white fly.
The committee was informed that Punjab faced a decline of four per cent in cotton area, resultantly pest complex has changed. In southern Punjab, loss of cotton production has been observed in Multan division. However, better crop has been observed in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts.
An estimated production in Punjab would be 5.3 million bales against a target of six million bales; Sindh three million bales against a target of 4.60 million bales, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6,500 bales and Balochistan 291,000 bales.
The Sindh government informed the committee that the cotton crop suffered heavy damage during the recent rain.
A representative of the Federal Seed Certification and Research Department told the committee that his organisation had already inspected an area of 147,000 acres against a target of 365,000 acres for cotton seed. This year the expectation for cotton seed is 72,176 metric tonnes.
Mr Imam told the committee that the cotton sector would witness improvements in the coming years as a result of measures being taken by the government.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2020