Cotton production in the country might register decline in the season of 2017-18 owing to delay in harvesting and less supply of water in Sindh irrigation system.
Normally harvesting begins in March but this year, the Government of Punjab imposed ban on harvesting and asked growers to start from April 1, delay to hurt cotton production, said Ahsan-ul-Haq, chairman Cotton Ginners Forum. Moreover, there has been shortage of waters in the country’s canal system.
He said that Sindh Canal system facing worst ever shortfall in water flows and irrigation system has been disturbed a lot during the season.
The cotton had been sowed at 4.5 million hectares during the last season, despite lower sowing, this year Federal Cotton Committee fix target area of 6 million hectares which appear to be unachievable.
The cotton production has been falling since last couple of years because in several key zones government has allowed groups to install sugar companies. These companies encouraging growers to sow sugar cane resulting in falling yield of cotton. Moreover, as the government delays sowing of cotton, in barren land, growers sow sunflower and maize which also delays harvesting of cotton.
The textile companies would be force to import more in 2017-18 as the cotton production target will be missed, analysts said.
During the current season, i.e. 2016-17 the cotton production stood around 10.7 million bales as against 2015-16 9.6 million bales of the previous year.