By admin       2018-07-19

Cotton picking has started in some areas of Sindh, and growers are upset due to low yield caused by persistent water scarcity. Usually, the deltaic region - Thatta, Sujawal and Badin districts – begins cultivating all the crops earlier compared to other areas. Reports gathered from Thatta show that cotton producers received low yield, as water scarcity also damaged standing crops. Similarly, the per acre yield in Sujawal and Badin district is not satisfactory. The government’s Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) had set a 14.37 million bales target from 2.955 million hectares. However, leading growers in Sindh say that sowing was hardly achieved on 35-40 percent of the cultivation area. Sindh Growers Alliance President Nawab Zubair Talpur said the government would not achieve more than 25 percent of its set cotton target, because water scarcity in cotton producing areas has badly damaged the major crop. Growers received water quite recently, which would not benefit the crop. “Pakistan is importing cotton since the last two years, spending Rs15 billion or more, because farmers are unable to meet the production target due to (several) problems, mainly water scarcity,” he said. The president of the growers’ alliance spoke of the time when production was higher, and farmers contributed to exports as well which earned the country foreign exchange. If this phenomenon continues, the country would face unimaginable losses, as this major crop not only provides sustenance to sharecroppers, but cotton pickers, and ginning factory workers as well, he said. “There are about 300 ginning factories in the province, which may face short supply of cotton because of crop failure,” Talpur added. Presently, the government rate is Rs4,000-Rs4,200/maund, compared to the previous year’s Rs3,500/maund. But the rate might jump higher within a few days because of short supply and overall product shortfall, it was suggested. Researchers in agriculture believe that in many areas cotton was sown late due to water problem, so picking would likely start later in October-November. Since it is a four-month crop, it will be too late to get the expected yield. The major socio-economic and cultural activities in rural areas usually depend on the cotton crop. It the yield drops, it has a negative impact on the overall economic activities in the agriculture-rich province. Besides, farmers and other workforce, more than one million women cotton pickers stay idle due to the unavailability of work, said the reports gathered from the different cotton growing areas.

Download App

# #

Member Login