Pakistan has once again failed to achieve its cotton production target this year after the yield declined to 8.3 million bales.
It had set a target of 10.05 million bales for the current year, but low production caused the target to be missed by 2.2 million bales.
According to sources in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, cotton production stood at 8.3 million bales in 2021-22, which is 2.2 million bales less than the target of 10.05 million bales. However, the production has increased by 1.3 million bales compared to last year.
According to government sources, the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has stated that the production of cotton will be 7.4 million bales this year. They said that the decline is mainly because the crop cultivation area has fallen massively and added that Pakistan has a production capacity of 20 million bales of cotton.
Due to low production, the government has to rely on imports to meet the country’s demand for cotton. This hurts valuable foreign exchange and affects the growth of the industry and textile exports, the sources said.
In 2020-21, cotton production was seven million bales. Previously, it went up to 9.8 million bales in 2018-19 and stood at 9.18 million bales in 2019-20.
Official figures showed that overall, the area for the cotton crop this decade has declined by 33 percent from 2.9 million to 1.9 million hectares. Almost 1.5 million farmers grow cotton, of which 75 percent is grown in Punjab, and the rest is grown in Sindh. The cotton area in Punjab has decreased by 50 percent from 2.53 million hectares in 2012 to 1.28 million in 2022.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s cotton yields have fallen by 26 percent from 880 kg per hectare to 652 kg per hectare over the last decade. The decline has been more pronounced in Punjab, and productivity has fallen by 36 percent, from 814 kg per hectare in 2012 to 520 kg per hectare this year.