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Pakistan cotton output to fall on water scarcity
May '12
A 50 percent reduction in water availability is likely to bring down Pakistan's cotton output for the current season by 15 percent or over 2.2 million bales.

In Pakistan, the new cotton sowing season has begun after the country produced bumper crop last season. But, cotton production in the new season is not expected to touch last season levels owing to dearth of water.

According to President of Farmers Association of Pakistan, Dr. Mohammad Tariq Bucha, water shortage and low prices of cotton would lead to a fall in area under cotton cultivation this season.

During the last season, the average price that cotton fetched hovered around Pk Rs. 1,900 per maund, which was much below its average production cost of Pk Rs. 2,700 per maund, but the Government did not intervene, Dr. Bucha said. He added that farmers would not be interested in cultivating cotton this season, unless the seed industry is regulated.

He said water crisis has become a usual thing for farmers in the country, but no one, including the political parties, is paying any heed to the issue. Now, there is shortage of water for feeding cotton plantations, which is certain to hit the crop.

Dr. Bucha said some of the cotton seed varieties were high yielding, but the prevailing water crisis and fall in commodity prices would cause the country to turn to be an importer of cotton this season.

According to the agriculture department of Sindh, so far cotton sowing has been undertaken on 45 percent of the targeted area in the region, while cotton sowing was completed on 49 percent of targeted area by this time last year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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