Low cotton production hampers textile industry in Pakistan

Cotton production in Pakistan will be merely 4.78 million bales against the target of nine million bales due to damage by floods and a decline in the area owing to a slim profit margin in cotton, Business Recorder reported.
This was revealed in a summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) which was presented to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet seeking to fix PKR 8,500 per 40kg cotton intervention price (CIP) for the next crop to increase the cotton production by 10 to 15 per cent. The federal cabinet ratified on Friday the ECC decision of PKR 8,500 per 40kg CIP for the next crop.
The Ministry of the NFSR told the meeting that cotton is a key crop for the economy and has been on a decline after achieving the highest production of 14.1 million bales in 2004-05.
Additionally, the floods of last year badly damaged the standing cotton crop and consequently, cotton production would be mere 4.78 million bales against the target of nine million bales.
It added that farmers in some cotton production have already switched to other crops such as rice, maize, and sugarcane, Business Recorder reported.
The Ministry further stated that to meet the demand of the textile industry, Pakistan has the potential to increase cotton production to 15 million bales in a short period of time if the old cotton area is re-gained; farmers are supported with appropriate technology and they receive a fair and stable price.
Lower cotton production has hampered the textile industry’s growth and increased the import bill of raw cotton, edible oil, and livestock meal, Business Recorder reported.
Over the last five years, the import bill of raw cotton has exceeded PKR 56 billion. Cotton is the most valuable crop with the highest multiplier effect both on the rural economy, as well as, the industrial sector.
The cotton price intervention policy during 2021-22 resulted in price stability in the domestic market and higher investment in crop management producing 2.0 million additional bales despite a seven per cent decline in the area.

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