February 18, 2021 (MLN): Cotton arrivals at the ginneries decline by massive 34 percent as the crop’s output has fallen to historic lows due to locust attacks and heavy rainfall at the start of the sowing season last year, fortnightly data released for period ending Feb 15 showed on Thursday.
The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association data showed cotton arrivals during the period fell to 5.616 million during the ongoing fiscal year compared to 8.547m in the same period last year. Of these, 5.231m bales were picked up whereas the remaining were raked up by exporters.
Pakistan is set to record the lowest cotton production in its history as a range of factors has led to the decline in cotton production during the ongoing fiscal year.
The country’s cotton output has plummeted due to: rising pest attacks, seasonal (rains) on the crop, lack of support price, substandard pesticides, low yield, antiquated technology and rise in sugarcane, wheat and other major crops production.
Stakeholders in the cotton value chain have sought urgent help from the government in the form of announcement of minimum support price and implementation of zoning laws to ensure the cotton growing regions do not cede space to other major crops.
City-wise, Sanghar — one of the largest cotton producing districts in the country — output declined by 30.4pc during the period under review as arrival of bales from the city fell to 791 thousand bales compared to 1.136m tonnes during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, in Punjab, the output also took a drastic hit during the period under review. Cotton production in Rahim Yar Khan declined by 41pc to 656 thousand bales compared to 1.10m tonnes during the same period last year.
Barring Faisalabad, all of the cotton producing districts witnessed a shortfall of cotton production during the ongoing fiscal year.
The PCGA has asked the government to take required actions urgently in order to improve the cotton output in the country. PCGA’s Dr. Jassu Mal said that the cotton value chain employs millions of labourers across the country from sowing, picking crops to finishing and exporting the value-added products. He said that millions of livelihoods are at a risk.
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