Water scarcity hits cotton sowing target

Chronic water shortage could mean Pakistan missing its production target of 14 million bales set for the next season

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KARACHI: The alarming water shortage across Pakistan has caused it to miss cotton plantation targets in Sindh due to climate changes.

Chronic water shortage during the ongoing Kharif season could contribute to less cotton production as farmers have planted cotton seeds in 2.31 million hectares of land short 22 percent from its target of 2.95 million hectares till June 1st, reported Express Tribune.

Chronic water shortage could mean Pakistan missing its production target of 14 million bales set for the next season.

Planning Commission Food Security Consultant Dr Mohammad Ali Talpur said acute water shortage had prevented farmers from planting cotton in the targeted area.

Farmers require water for the plantation of crops, said ex-chairman Mukhtar Ahmed Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association.

Mr Ahmed said due to no rains in March and April, which usually happen at that time of the year contributed to water flow remaining absent from canals and prevented farmers from planting seeds over the targeted area.

In Sindh, the farmers have planted cotton seeds in around 50 percent (0.29 million hectares) of the targeted area of 0.62 million hectares, according to government data.

Talpur shared Sindh concludes cotton plantation by end of June and which is projected to cover 80-85 percent of targeted area.

He added sowing in Punjab had been concluded in mid-May and statistics revealed seeds had been planted over an area of 2.01 million hectares against a target of 2.31 million hectares.

PCGA ex-chairman said the plantation situation was poor in Sindh and Punjab respectively.

For the 2018-19 season, the government is aiming for producing 14 million bales of cotton.

During the outgoing financial year 2017-18 ending 30th June, Pakistan produced only 11.5 million bales against a target of 14 million bales.

The continuing cotton production shortfall in the country would compel yarn manufacturers to raise imports of the commodity.

The total cotton demand of Pakistan is recorded to be around 16 million bales.

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