The local cotton market remained stable on Saturday. Market sources told that trading volume was low. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the production of mere 5.6 million cotton bales in Pakistan as “alarming”, called for enhanced collaboration among all stakeholders including growers, ginners, weavers and exporters to revive the vital cotton crop and boost its production.
Speaking at a seminar on “Revival of Cotton Crop” he said that enhanced cotton production was vital for economic development due to its contribution in various sectors including textile, edible oil etc. besides being a source of income for rural women.
The Foreign Minister said that unfortunately the cotton production in Pakistan was badly hit due to shifting of cotton areas to sugarcane crop and the lack of research for new varieties of quality seeds.
Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that government would provide subsidized seed for cotton growers in order to revive and enhance local output of major crop of the country.
Addressing a seminar held here to discuss the issues and challenges faced by the local cotton crop and aspects to enhance productivity for economic development of the country, he said that cotton was one of most important crops in the country, which contributing about 19.03 percent in National GDP.
He stressed the need for ensuring the crop zoning in order to stop farmers from switching to other crops which would be largely beneficial for agriculture sector development and economic growth.
He was of the view that declining output of cotton from last many years was a matter of concern that required serious attention to revive it on sustainable basis and economic uplift of the country.
The minister said that unavailability of high yielding, certified, hybrid seed varieties were the main hurdle in domestic output, besides provisions of pesticides to control the pest attacks, which every year destroy crops standing over million of hectares.
Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that country’s cotton production fell by 34.35 per cent to 5.571 million bales up to Jan 31 against 8.487m bales produced in the same period of last year, the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) said in its fortnightly report released on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, commenting on the shortfall of 2.9 million bales and the dire situation, textile industry representatives said poor productivity could erode viability of the export-oriented textile sector, which has 55 to 60pc contribution in overall exports of the country.
“This is the lowest cotton production in 30 years which is alarming for the textile sector as well as for exports,” said cotton expert and Chairman of the Cotton Brokers Forum Nasim Usman.
Both Punjab and Sindh reported a significant fall in cotton production.
Cotton production in Punjab till the end of January was 3.436m bales compared to 5.014m bales produced in the same period of last year — a fall of 31.5pc. However, production in Sindh fell by 38.5pc to 2.134m bales from 3.472m noted in the same period of last year.
Though textile exports went up by 7.8pc to fetch $7.442 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal, industry had to import cotton worth $321m in the first five months of the current financial year.
Meanwhile Director General WWF during a ceremony appreciated the efforts of the Balochistan government due to which organic cotton produced in the province after twenty years.
Naseem Usman told that 2000 bales of Khair Pur were sold at Rs 10,500 per maund, 1200 bales of Dharan Wala, 1200 bales of Haroonabad, 1400 bales of Fort Abbas were sold at Rs 10,800 per maund and 200 bales of Burewala were sold at Rs 11,000 (seed) per maund.
Naseem also told that rate of cotton in Sindh was in between Rs 10,000 to Rs 10,700 per maund. The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 10,200 to Rs 11,000 per maund. He also told that Phutti of Sindh was sold in between Rs 3800 to Rs 5000 per 40 kg. The rate of Phutti in Punjab is in between Rs 3500 to Rs 5400 per 40 Kg.
The rate of Banola in Sindh was in between Rs 1600 to Rs 2000 while the price of Banola in Punjab was in between Rs 1800 to Rs 2250. The rate of cotton in Balochistan is Rs 11,000 per maund.
The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 10,700 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 195 per Kg.