S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2012
PRODUCTION OF COTTON
Cotton is the largest revenue-earning crop produced in the world. Its production and processing provide some or all of the cash income of over 250 million people worldwide including almost seven per cent of the available labor force in developing countries. The world cotton production was projected at 24.8 million tons during 2010-11 as against 22.01 million tons recorded in 2009-10, estimating an increased of 12.6 per cent. This was mainly due to expansion in planting by the cotton producing countries.
Production was expected to increase by 11 per cent to a record of 27.6 million tons in 2011-12. Today, 77 per cent of global cotton output and 73 per cent of the cotton hectarage are accounted for by China, the US, India, Pakistan, and the Central Asian Republics.
In Pakistan, cotton is the main cash crop, which contributes significantly to the national economy. It accounts for 6.9 per cent of value added in agriculture and 1.4 per cent of GDP. In addition to providing raw materials to the local textile industry, the lint cotton is an export item.
During 2010-11, the crop was cultivated on an area of 2689 thousand hectares, 13.4 per cent less than last year (3106 thousand hectares). The production was estimated at 11.5 million bales, lower by 11.3 per cent over the last year's production of 12.9 million bales and 17.9 per cent less than the target of 14 million bales. The decrease in cultivated area and production is attributed to loss in area under cultivation due to floods, widespread attack of cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV) and sucking pest/insect in core and non-core area, excessive rain, shortage of water due to canal closure during flood caused fruit shedding in certain areas. The fungus also caused cotton bolls to rot in the unusually hot and moist conditions in the country.
As much as 15 per cent of the cotton crop already ruined by flooding that had covered 20 per cent of the country. Part of the difficulty in assessing the impact of the flooding, fungus and pest infestation is that the crops in different parts of Pakistan develop at different times and rates due to varying weather conditions. As a result, there is so single approach to remedy all of the problems.
Furthermore, the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) had projected cotton production at 12.598 million bales for the FY 2011-12. According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), 14.5 million bales of cotton arrived in factories till March 2012 as compared to the corresponding period last year, showing an increase of 21 per cent.
The PCGA also indicated that there was an increase of 36.3 per cent in Punjab while Sindh recorded nearly 50 per cent decline. Punjab produced 11.87 million bales against 7.78 million bales during the same period last year. Sindh produced 2.66 million bales during the period under review as compared to 3.79 million bales last year.
Of the total cotton production, textile mills purchased more than 12.77 million bales from ginners while private sector exporters bought 999,909 bales.
AREA &YIELD OF COTTON IN PAKISTAN
|YEAR||AREA (000 HECTARE)||YIELD % CHANGE||(KGS/HEC)||% CHANGE|
The total unsold stocks at ginneries increased to 770,547 bales as compared to 297656 bales last year. Ministry of textile industry confirmed that cotton production exceeded the estimated target set for the FY 2011-12. The local industry has the capacity to absorb 14 to 15 million bales but due to energy crisis, the industry would be unable to utilise around two million bales of cotton that would be exported this year against 0.7 million bales last year.
Recently, cotton cultivation has started in some parts of Sindh and Punjab and the country is likely to achieve a record crop in next cotton season, if weather and other factors remain favorable. In Sindh, cotton sowing has been started in Sanghar, Mirpur Khas, Umer Kot, Khipro, Badin, Hyderabad, Matyari, Tando Allayar, Tando Adam, Shahdad Pur and Gharoo, while in Punjab, Sahiwal, Pakpatan, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Toba Tak Singh, Chichawatni, Faisalabad, Bure Wala, Arif Wala, Melsi and Khaneywal cotton is being sown largely. Some parts of Balochistan like Othal and Hub Choki have also witnessed cotton cultivation.
It is expecting that cotton will be cultivated on an area of 10 million acre across the country this fiscal year, while in term of bales a bumper crop of 17 million bales is expected during 2012-2013. In addition, bumper crop needs timely availability of fertilizer and water, besides favorable weather. Cotton sowing period is gradually widening and during the next few years, cotton will become a full year crop. BT cotton sowing is gradually increasing and expected to be cultivated over 80 per cent area of cotton production, however, this year there are some difficulties in availability of quality cottonseeds.
In Pakistan, the overall performance of agriculture sector exhibited a weaker growth due to negative growth of major crops and forestry. The unprecedented floods also destroyed cotton crop in the country. The government should ensure supply of quality BT cottonseeds to achieve historical cotton production in the next season, which will result in earning of huge foreign exchange with export of excess production in Pakistan.