KARACHI: The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has estimated that Pakistan will produce around 13.255 million bales (170 kilograms each) in the fiscal year (July-June) 2014, a statement said.
The estimated production, if achieved, will be higher by 14.52 percent, or 1.68 million bales, as compared to 11.57 million bales produced in the fiscal year ended 2013.
The assessment was made at the first meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) that was held at the Textile Industry Division. Rukhsana Shah, federal secretary for the Textile Industry Division, presided over the meeting.
Representatives of provincial governments, Plant Protection Department, Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), cotton growers, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) and Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed challenges faced by the cotton crop, especially low availability of irrigation water during the sowing season, seed quality issues, climate change issue, new pests and diseases attacking to cotton crop were discussed in detail.
Representatives of the provincial government of Punjab said that 576,6082 acres of the 600,000 acres have been planted, which made 96 percent of the cotton sowing target. He explained various reasons for not achieving the sowing target of 600,000 acres.
Representative of the Sindh government could not attend the meeting. However the data provided by the director agriculture showed 140,793 acres of land, of the 160,615 acres of target has been sown, which was 88 percent of the target area. Farmers from Sindh and Punjab stressed on the new researchable areas such as dusky cotton bugs, climate change and the introduction of new BT technology to maximise the cotton production in the country.
Member representing Aptma said that the assessment may not be changed based on the area not sown, whereas representative of the PCGA said that crop volume will be close to 13 million bales.
Shah emphasised on the availability of quality cottonseed, which ensures production. She also emphasised on the importance of clean cotton and implementation of quality standards and standard bale weight in the national interests.
The cotton crop size may be assessed on the basis of sowing data provided by the provincial governments and the area not cultivated must be reflected in the revised estimates, she added.