LCCI proclaims a cotton emergency due to deteriorating production rate

Time to wake up from this deep slumber as a cotton emergency has been declared in the agriculture sector by The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The lowest ever cotton production recorded in three decades is bound to affect the economy of the country.

“The catastrophe-like situation in cotton production has severely impacted textiles, directly or indirectly associated with other industries, ginners, and growers”, said LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan, and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry.

There is a steady decline being recorded in Pakistan’s cotton production with no hopes of the situation getting any better. In the years 2014 and 2015, cotton production reached an all-time high, yielding 13.96 million bales. However, the production started going downhill from 2017 when the yield reduced to 11.9 million bales, then in 2018, it became 9.8 million bales and from then on, an additional decline of 6.9 percent was observed.

Even in the first six months of the current fiscal year (July-December 2020), the textile exports stood at $6.62 billion, compared with $6.82 billion in (July-December 2019).

Moreover, the deteriorating cotton production means the garment and textile sector has to import cotton yarn which means compromising the budget with big bills. The imports of raw cotton went up to $1.34 billion in 2019/20 from $1.18 billion in 2018/19. Even in the first six months of the current fiscal year (July-December 2020), the textile exports stood at $6.62 billion, compared with $6.82 billion in (July-December 2019) said the LCCI officials.

Lastly, LCCI has offered the suggestion to get help from China to get yield more bales this year and has also appealed to get the war footings under control as the entire economy would be dwindling if cotton production slips further.

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