Rains, floods damage 0.361 million cotton bales
Heavy rains and floods have reportedly damaged 0.361 million bales of cotton crops, which may make it difficult for the government to achieve projected agriculture sector growth target of 3.8 per cent for the current fiscal year. Sources in the Planning Commission told Business Recorder that flood caused relatively more damage to the cotton crop in Punjab with 0.230 million bales followed by 0.130 million bales in Sindh.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013
The floods and rains have inundated cotton crop at 78.6 thousands hectare of land in Punjab and 40.2 thousands hectare in Sindh. They said that last year, the production of cotton was around 13.6 million bales despite damages to the crop in Sindh and Punjab due to rains/floods. The sources are optimistic that estimated damage to the cotton and other crops would not have major impact on growth. Secretary Planning Commission has recently stated that projected growth target of 4.4 percent for the current fiscal year need to be revised because it may not be achieved.
However, they said that the price of cotton may go up slightly due to likely decrease in production of the crop. The floods and rains have also damaged sugarcane and rice crops. The estimates indicate a damage of 160.2 thousands tons to sugarcane crop and 81.9 thousands tons to the rice crop. The area under cotton, sugarcane and rice inundated by floods and rains was estimated at 118.9, 56.3 and 134.5 thousands hectares respectively.
The sugarcane production is estimated to suffer a loss of 128.7 thousand tons in Punjab and 31.5 thousand tons in Sindh. Similarly, estimates indicate that 71.5 thousand tons rice crop may be affected by the flood and rains in Punjab, 6.7 thousand tons in Sindh and 3.7 thousand tons in Balochistan. Pakistan's agriculture sector is well placed to achieve the envisaged growth of 3.8 percent, according to the Annual Plan 2013-14 The Annual Plan for the current fiscal year estimated agriculture sector growth at 3.8 percent on the basis of 3.1 percent growth of important crops, 4.5 percent other crops 6.1 percent cotton ginned 3.9 percent livestock, 2 percent fishery and 2 per cent forestry.
An official said that achieving projected growth target of 3.8 per cent may not be possible for various factors. According to an official, the GDP growth was being affected by the energy crisis with an estimated loss of 2 per cent annually, which may be one of the factors for revision of growth target for the current fiscal year.