Cotton supply jumps despite drop in sowing

ISLAMABAD: The supply of cotton to the ginning factories has jumped 159 per cent year-on-year (YoY) owing to the incentives introduced by the government, said Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam.

Chairing a meeting on cotton on Monday, the minister informed the participants that around 2.69 million bales of cotton had been sent to the local ginning factories till September 15, 2021 against 1.04 million bales in the corresponding period of last year.

“Despite the lowest area under cotton cultivation in the last 20 years, estimated at 1.87 million hectares, the supply of cotton to factories has skyrocketed 159pc,” he said.

The minister appreciated the role of all stakeholders in increasing the overall cotton production and stressed the need to maintain the momentum in a bid to achieve a higher output.

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The minister voiced hope that the production of cotton crop would exceed the previous estimate of 8.46 million bales, adding that vigilant crop management was a prerequisite to maintain the positive trend.

Imam urged growers to focus on clean picking of the crop to maintain its quality and fetch better prices in the domestic market.

The minister also advised the farmers to carefully choose high-yielding cotton varieties for next year and use certified seeds.

He assured the meeting participants that the government would play a proactive role in the provision of quality seeds to facilitate the farmers.

Imam urged the provincial governments to carry out crop extension campaigns and advise the farmers to properly manage their crops. He termed the next six weeks critical for maintaining high yields.

“After eight years, the government has set an intervention price of Rs5,000 per 40 kg,” the minister said. “The move will encourage the growers to invest in the crop and harvest higher yields.”

Senior officials of the ministry and provincial agricultural departments attended the meeting.

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