ISLAMABAD – The Federal Committee Cotton on Agriculture (FCC) on Tuesday fixed target to produce 14.101 million cotton bales during the cotton crop season 2016-17 from an overall area of 3.009 million hectares.
Decision to this effect was taken here at the 5th meeting of FCC was held at the Ministry of Textile Industry to fix the targets for cotton area and production for the cotton crop season 2016/17.
Amir Marwat, Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry, chaired the meeting. The meeting was attended by representatives from Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council; Director General, Agriculture (Ext) Punjab; representative of Crop Reporting Department, Sindh, Punjab Seed Council, Agricultural Research Institute, DI Khan, Director Research, Director Marketing & Economic Research from Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Indus River System Authority, National Fertilizer Development Corporation; Zarai Tarqiati Bank of Pakistan Limited, State Bank of Pakistan, Trading Corporation of Pakistan; Meteorological Department and progressive farmers.
The Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry apprised the meeting that the meeting has been convened with a major focus to devise strategies for the improving cotton production in the coming season.
He urged to develop coordinated strategy of stakeholders including the Meteorological Department for aggressively organizing farmers’ awareness programmes, including seminars, conferences and workshops to train farmers and enhance their capacity about cotton crop best management practices.
He informed that the government has provided several support schemes to the cotton growers and other textile sector components to enable them to complete with regional competitors.
Dr. Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, Ministry of Textile Industry presented the review of cotton crop condition during previous year and planning for the coming season. He stated cotton crop was badly hit due to torrential and prolonged rains especially during month of June-August.
He further stated that damages due to rains coupled with prevailing lower cotton prices & high rates of inputs, farmers lost interest in spending more on already damaged crop. This situation resulted in flare up of cotton pests especially Pink bollworm, Armyworm and other pests which also damaged cotton crop substantially.
The representative from Pakistan Meteorological Department, Islamabad reported that the forthcoming cotton season will receive normal rainfall. However, 20-25% above normal rainfall with a 0.8 C rise in temperature is expected during months of March to May.
The representative from Indus River System Authority (IRSA) stated that around 28-30 MAF water would be available in water reservoirs for the coming crop season and anticipated 5% shortfall in canal irrigation water during the season.
Source: The Nation