By admin       2018-03-28

The bureau’s comments came as it made its first estimates for Pakistani cotton supply and demand for 2018-19, forecasting output extending its recovery for a third successive season, by 500,000 bales to a four-year high of 8.80m bales. The forecast assumed a rise of 200,000 hectares to 2.80m hectares in sowings - newly begun in Sindh, and poised to start next week in the top growing province of Punjab – with plantings spurred by disillusion with sugar cane. “Forecasts of firmer global cotton prices and frustration with delays in sugarcane payments from sugar mills are expected to encourage some farmers to shift to cotton,” the bureau said. However, hopes for yield improvements were undermined by the continued use of the outdated biotech seed, meaning “crops are susceptible to bollworms”. “The narrow genetic base of cotton germplasm is prone to insect and diseases and is one of the major factors influencing crop productivity in the country.”

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