Rain delays cotton arrival by one month

Ehtisham Mufti June 08, 2010

KARACHI: The arrival of cotton at ginning factories has been delayed by one month because of recent torrential rains, officials said.

Cotton fields in Sindh, mostly Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Hyderabad and Nawabshah, are filled with rainwater, stoking fears of an attack by white bees and insects as well as withering of cotton flowers, officials associated with the cotton sector told The Express Tribune.

Some districts, including Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Hyderabad and Matiari, had a shortage of water and cotton was sown there only last week, said member of the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) Ahsanul Haq.

“Growers will have to sow the cotton crop again to offset the damage done by the heavy rains,” he said.

New cotton crop was expected to be ready by the third week of June but it is now expected to arrive after July 15, he said.

Sindh’s cotton production increased to 4.2 million bales in fiscal year 2010 against 2.9 million bales in 2009. The main reason for the increase in production was sowing of Bt cotton over a large area. Cotton is grown on 1.7 million acres in Sindh.

Cotton growers should swiftly drain the rainwater from the fields and clean drainage pipes as weather experts  predict more rains before August, he said.

The agriculture sector, one of the main contributors to the gross domestic product, remained weak and grew by only two per cent against the target of 3.8 per cent during fiscal year 2010. Last year, it had grown by four per cent.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 8th, 2010.



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