ISLAMABAD: Cotton production this season remained far below last year’s output as farmers planted less area with the crop following forecasts of excessive rains that could damage the crop and a substantial increase in prices of necessary inputs.
According to final figures for the season released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), total cotton production in 2012-13 stood at 12.915 million bales, 12.81% or 1.898 million bales less than a year earlier.
Of the total output, Punjab produced 9.508 million bales, a decrease of 21.62% or 2.624 million bales from the previous year. Sindh, however, produced a 27% higher crop, standing at 3.407 million bales, up 725,468 bales from the previous season.
In a statement, PCGA ex-executive member Ihsanul Haq said the target for cotton production, after many revisions, was set at 14 million bales for the 2012-13 season, but even this could not be achieved.
Giving the main reason for the shortfall, he blamed what he called a misleading forecast by the meteorological department, which expected 43% more rains in April and May 2012 compared to 2011. That, he said, sparked fears among farmers and prevented them from planting thousands of acres with the key crop.
Another reason for the production shortfall, he said, was higher prices of agricultural inputs like diesel, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.
He attributed the increase in cotton production in Sindh to the low base effect.
Of the total output this season, PCGA data showed, textile mills have purchased 12.162 million bales and exported 353,345 bales compared to exports of 1.1 million bales in 2011-12.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook to stay informed and join in the conversation.