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Cotton crop may again fall short of targets
04
Oct '08
Pakistan faces the bewilderment of importing cotton and spending precious foreign exchange on the same. The reason being that cotton production is likely to remain stagnant at 12 million bales against a target of 14.1 million bales set by the government.

In comparison, cotton crop of last season stood at 11.65 million bales. The overall cotton sowing area for this year is provisionally expected to be 2.969 million hectares; less by 10 percent from targeted figures and nearly six percent less compared to last years figures of 3.05 million hectares.

The main reasons attributed to less sowing area are of farmers shifting to other cash crops like wheat. Cotton yields are also expected to fall as water from the irrigation system was not released on time, during the early days of crop sowing.

The other major reason affecting yields is that the cotton crops have been affected on a higher scale compared to last season by boll worm in areas of Sind and Punjab. Incidences of white fly, mealy bug and mites are also reportedly on the higher side in this season.

The farmers are not able to tackle the diseases affecting the cotton crop properly as they lack the expertise and do not have access to modern technology to fight these diseases.

It will be very difficult for Pakistan to achieve its targeted cotton production figures unless quality seeds, timely water availability and quality inputs are not assured to farmers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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