Karachi, May 31, 2022: The cultivation of cotton has been completed over 1.936 million hectares of land in the potential areas countrywide against the target of 2.32 million hectares for the current season (2021-22).
The crop sowing witnessed about 6.9% decline as compared to the last season of over 2.078 million hectares, said an official of the Ministry of National Food Security on Monday.
Talking to APP, he said that according to the provincial agriculture extensions and crop reporting services, the countrywide cotton sowing target for the season was achieved by 83.4%.
There was 25.05% increase in the crop sowing in Sindh, 12.3% in Balochistan, and 54.5% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he added. However, the cotton sowing in Punjab during the period under review registered about 17.3% negative growth, owing to drought and dry weather at the start of the sowing season, he said.
The cotton crop was sown over 1.279 million hectares of land across Punjab, 79.4% of the target of 1.61 million hectares, the official added.
Likewise, he said, the cotton crop was cultivated over 0.594 million hectares, 92.8% of the target of 0.64 million hectares in Sindh.
The provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa met 91.4% and 7.73% of their respective sowing targets of 0.64 million hectares and 0.00017 million hectares, the official added.
He mentioned that the cotton production target for the season was fixed at 11.034 million bales, based on yield of approximately 740 kg per hectare.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research, he said, had also proposed to revise the intervention price of seed cotton (Phutti) to Rs 6,000 per 40 kg for the crop season 2022-23 in order to ensure proper rate of return to the farmers.
The proposal, he said, was also aimed at reviving the cotton production in the country to bring stability in the domestic market.
The official said the ministry also proposed to constitute a Cotton Price Review Committee (CPRC) with the mandate to review market prices and propose intervention at fortnightly basis.
The CPRC would regularly monitor the cotton prices in the main markets of Punjab and Sindh, as well as those in the international markets and issue a brief price report on weekly basis, he said, adding that under the suggested framework, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) would intervene to buy up to 2 million bales of lint cotton on the pre-determined price of Rs 6,000 per 40kg, which would help ensure fair rate of return to the farmers.
The price intervention policy during last year (2021-22), he said, resulted in price stability in the domestic market and fair investment in crop management. It also resulted in additional production of 2 million bales though the area under cotton cultivation declined by 7%.
He said that the country had the potential to produce 20 million bales in a short period of time, if the historic cotton area was regained, and the farmers were supported with appropriate technology and ensured a fair price.