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May 5, 2015

Pakistan produces record cotton crop at 14.87mln bales

KARACHI: Pakistan produced a record bumper crop of cotton at 14.87 million bales (of 155 kilograms each) in the last season (April-September 2014), which was 11.06 percent higher than 13.39 million bales cultivated in the prior year, reported Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Monday.
“The production was higher because sowing was undertaken on a larger scale,” said Dr Mohmmad Ali Talpur, director marketing and economic research at Pakistan Central Cotton Committee.
He said Pakistan has been targeting to sow cotton-seeds in 3.1 million hectors of land for a few years, but has never reached 100 percent targeted areas.
“Last year, farmers sowed seeds in 94 percent of the targeted land against 87 percent in the prior year,” Talpur said.
In addition to this, the introduction of new varieties of seeds also helped increase the yield per acre of land.
Farmers have been using BT886 and BT142 in Punjab, and BT73761 in Sindh for the last few years. “The production in the last season surged to around 800kg/hectare from 755kg last year,” he said.
He also said that the attack of viruses on standing crops was also lower this time.
PCGA also reported that the highest increase in cotton production was recorded in Faisalabad by 54.44 percent from last year; followed by Layya at 42.05 percent and at Toba Tek Sindh by 41.81 percent.
However, some areas recorded lower production compared to the previous year. Those areas include Jhang where it declined by 37.41 percent; followed by Sargodha at 30.98 percent, and 21.56 percent at Jamshoro, Sindh.
Out of the total reported production, textile mill-owners bought as many as 14.07 million bales in the year against 12.96 million bales last year; exporters bought 475,174 bales against 399,382 bales; and Trading Corporation of Pakistan procured 94,900 bales from ginners against zero bales last year, PCGA further reported.