Size of the crop must be over 12 million bales to justify the word of bumper crop

Sep 13 - 19, 2004

Prayers are being offering by the people all around the country for more rains as the monsoon had brought a very little water to the dry lands of the country.

The shortage of rain has however proved a blessing in disguise for a section of the growers having a stake in cotton crop. According to figures of cotton crop so far received it is estimated that there will be a bumper cotton crop this year. Generally the crop assessment revolves around 10 million bales in Pakistan. The bumper cotton crop as being said by the farm and the government circles means that size of the crop must be over 12 million bales to justify the word of bumper crop.

Rain generally affects the cotton crop especially when it is ready to be harvested, hence the timing of rain is highly important for different crops. Despite all technological advancement to forecast weather, rain however remains an unpredictable factor hence beyond the human control.

Although the cotton yield is better than the last year, yet there were fears that other major crops like rice and sugarcane, which needs plenty of water, will be adversely affected due to shortage of water. The fear was however dispelled by the Minister of Water and Power by disclosing that sufficient arrangement of water in stock has already been made to cater to the need of rice and sugar cane crop for the areas producing cotton and sugarcane. The Kharif crop he assured will not be affected due to shortage of water. He said that on one hand there was shortage of rains while the snow melting at the glaciers was also slow due to climatic change and low temperature even in June and July this year. Effective water management is highly important for the people and for the economy of the country. In order to get optimum benefits of the available water resources we have no option but to build water reservoirs to face challenges emerging out of such situation in future as well.

He said due to slow melting of glacier and shortage of water, the water flow in rivers were naturally below normal which consequently has affected the water level in the two major dams in the country. Currently, the water level at Tarbella was below 68 percent and 38 percent at Mangla Dams. This situation he said should be realized those who are opposing the construction of the dams just to gain political interests. It is a highly important matter and we would have to develop a consensus to address the issue amicably the minister said.

Luckily, Pakistan is going to reap a rich cotton crop this year especially at a time when the quota restrictions are going to be completely phased out with the implementation of WTO regime from January 2005. This means opening of the doors of the world market for our textile products. Although the access of our products will be enhanced in the WTO scenario, yet it will accompanied by fierce competition with other textile export countries as well.

The situation calls for professionally handling of the available indigenous cotton resources particularly by reinforcing our productivity with optimum value addition both in terms of quality and quantity of the products.

The textile industry has done a great job on its part in expansion of the existing capacity, balancing, modernization and balancing the industry with the induction of at $4 billion imports of machinery and other accessories during last three four years.

The benefits so far achieved by the textile industry in the export regime are actually the result of the effective partnership between government and private sector. The government had provided a great help to the industry by developing a friendly environment for the local industry in the most significant market of the European Union, which besides offering different duty incentives had enhanced market accessibility for Pakistan textile products. On the other hand the industry also responded accordingly by improving quality of its products. The result of this partnership resulted in an all time high textile exports, which touch the landmark of $8-9 billion in 2003-04, a remarkable performance in the given circumstance of the country no doubt.

Encouraged with the results achieved by the textile sector, the government has come out with an ambitious plan to develop textile cities in all major textile related cities including at Karachi, Lahore, and Faisalabad, besides improving the infrastructure of the existing industrial zones.

The textile industry, which has assumed a front line role in the economy of the country, however yet has to come out of the conventional barriers of individual gains. It is the time that it should give a map and direction to the sector with innovative ideas and aggressive marketing to carve a respectable place for made in Pakistan culture in the world market. The Information Minister Sh. Rashid has rightly advised the industry to have their own TV channels to use it as an effective tool for marketing of their products besides highly the day-to-day problems faced by the industry. Since economy has to dominate the reign of power in the coming days the role of the trade and industry becomes more important as compared to the politicians because the economic independence is the key for political stability of any society.