LAHORE: As many as 8.487 million cotton bales reached the ginning industries across the country from Jan 15 till February 1, as compared to 10.6 million bales reaching the ginning industries during the same period last year.
According to figures shared by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA), a yearly shortfall of 2.18 million cotton bales was recorded during the period under review, which was equivalent to a decrease of 19.98pc.
In Punjab, 5.04 million bales reached the ginning industries as of February 1, which was 22.39pc less than the cotton bales reaching the ginning industries during the same period in 2019 (6.46 million bales).
Similarly, during the period under review, as many as 3.472 million bales reached the ginning industries of Sindh, as against 4.144 million bales reaching the ginning industries during the same period last year, registering a decline of 16.21pc.
“A total of 8.421 million knots of cotton were produced from cotton bales that reached the ginning industries across the country,” a PCGA official told this scribe.
According to figures, out of 8.421 million cotton knots, the textile sector purchased 7.632 million knots, while exporters purchased 0.058 million of the same.
Trading Corporation (TCP) did not purchase cotton knots during the cotton season 2019-20.
Around 134 ginning industries were operational in the country, out of which 119 ginning industries were operational in Punjab, which produced 4.953 million cotton knots.
Talking to Profit, an agriculture department official said that one of the reasons for behind the decrease in the number of cotton bales reaching the ginning factories was that cotton production areas across the country were declining rapidly since 2011.
Sharing the official figures, he said in 2011, cotton production area was 2.86 million hectares, which decreased to 2.68 million hectares in 2018 and further to 2.48 million hectares in 2019.
“Cotton yield decreased from 815kgs per hectare in 2011 to 687kgs per hectare in 2018 and 550kgs per hectare in 2019,” he added.
When asked about the reasons for the decrease in production area and yield, he said that lack of research by the cotton research institutions was one of the main reasons, besides farmers moving to other cash crops.
Agreeing with him, a spinning miller from central Punjab said that the government needed to introduce incentive schemes those farmers who produce better quality cotton. “It will encourage other farmers to switch to cotton.”
He said the government should also take measures to curtail crop encroachment in cotton areas.