In the past decade, the cultivation area and production of cotton have declined significantly. This was revealed at a seminar titled “Cotton Production: Challenges and Way Forward in the Modern Age” organized by Sindh Agro Industries (SAI), FPCCI, and Jang Media Group.
One of the primary reasons for this decline is the growers shifting from cotton to sugarcane and maize, leading to cotton output falling from 15 million bales to 8 million bales. In monetary terms, this is a loss of approximately $36 billion over the last decade.
For the current fiscal year, experts were of the opinion that the production of cotton would further decline, and would be in the range of 6.5 to 7 million bales during the current fiscal year.
During the same time period, the production of cotton has gone up multi-folds in India, Brazil, and the USA. For Pakistan, this translated into higher imports and a consequent 6 percent increase in the costs of the textile sector, rendering Pakistan’s textile industry products uncompetitive.
During the seminar, Federal Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam said that there is a need to take concrete action against fake seeds and pesticides because without the improved quality the per-acre yield could not be increased.
Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Chairman Dr. Jassu Mal said that climate change was impacting cotton production negatively so there was a need for more research on it. Syed Fakhar Imam concurred and added that there is a need to undertake more in-depth research to ascertain losses caused by climate change and heavy rainfall as it broke the record of the last 90 years in Sindh while it also caused losses in Southern Punjab. He said that Pakistan would have to focus on manufacturing because we had turned ourselves into a trading nation at the moment. He said that self-reliance based on truth and accountability should be our objectives for all spheres of life.