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KARACHI: The rate of cotton remained stable. Bullish trend prevails in international cotton market. Government is activily taking steps for increasing the production of cotton. Government has announced incentives on cotton seed, fertilizers and pesticides. Implementation should be made effective.

Will Pak Afghan cotton be cultivated in some areas?. According to the sources 15000 to17000 bales of Afghani cotton have been imported through Balochistan area of Dalbadin. Some amount of Phutti was mixes and some was used for preparing seeds.

In the local cotton market during the last week the rate of cotton remained stable after fluctuation as the mills were involved in cautious buying.

In the international cotton markets over all bullish trend was witnessed but in the local cotton market despite bullish trend in international cotton market the prices were not increased as it is expected because of the alarming decline in the cotton production locally. The rate of cotton yarn has stopped at the current level. Up till now the rate of cotton has already increased and it is not viable to store cotton on this rate. Only those mills were involved in buying who were not capable of importing cotton from abroad while big textile groups had signed agreements for the import of cotton from abroad in very large number. Now the rate of cotton has increased in international cotton market due to which more imports are being made cautiously.

During the last week in the local cotton market the rate of cotton in Sindh was in between Rs 10700 to Rs 11000 per maund. The rate of Phutti which was available in limited quantity was in between Rs 4000 to Rs 4800 per 40 kg while the rates of Khal and Banola were stable. In Punjab the rate of cotton is in between Rs 10300 to Rs 11100 per maund while the rate of Balochi cotton and on borrowing is in between Rs 11500 to Rs 11800 per maund while the Phutti which was on the verge of ending was available in between Rs 4200 to Rs 5600 per 40 kg. The rate of Banola and khal are stable. No stock of Phutti and cotton was left in Balochistan.

The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association has stabled the rate of cotton at Rs 11100 per maund.

Chairman Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman told that for the last many days in the international cotton markets the increasing trend in demand and rate prevails. The Rate of Promise (Waday Ka Bhao) of New York Cotton for March will expire today while the Rate of Promise (Waday Ka Bhao) for the Month of May has reached at the highest level of 91 cent and it is hinted that it will increase more. Moreover, according to USDA weekly export report exports decreased by 57 % as compared to last week but this week China is the biggest importer despite holidays in China.

Seed cotton equivalent to over 5.6 million or exactly 5,616,623 bales have reached ginning factories across the country till Feb 15, 2021, registering a 34.29 per cent shortfall compared to corresponding period of last year. The arrivals showed reduction of around 2.9 million bales compared to corresponding period of last year.

According to a fortnightly report of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) released on Thursday, 5,502,795 bales have undergone the ginning process i.e converted into bales. Cotton arrivals in Punjab were recorded at 3,480,454 bales registering a shortfall of 31.41% as compared to corresponding period of last year. Sindh generated just over 2.1 million bales registering a shortfall of 38.53%. Bahawalnagar district of Punjab topped with cotton arrival figure of 987,807 bales followed by Sanghar district with 791,278 bales.

Importers have bought 70,200 bales while textile mills purchased over 5.2 million bales. Out of total around 1300, exactly 59 ginning factories were operational in Punjab and none in Sindh.

Commenting on the report, chairman Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman said that this year’s cotton production in the country is at an alarming level which is less than the production of the last thirty years.

Experts were of the view that concerned government departments should take immediate positive steps to increase the production of cotton in the country because sowing of cotton will start in the lower areas of Sindh soon after the harvesting of wheat while in some areas sowing has started.

Secondly, after the 18th amendment, the agriculture sector is in the hands of the provincial governments. The federal ministry as well as the provincial ministries should pay more attention to this.

Moreover, agricultural experts say that cotton fiber is essential for the survival of Pakistan’s economy. The country’s major industries, including textiles, cannot be run on imports. Expel anti-national policy makers and take advantage of the experiences of experts who have played a key role in cotton production in the past. Strict measures are essential to revive Pakistan’s White Gold cotton production and a comprehensive cotton policy has been formulated in this regard by bringing all stakeholders together.

Former Director Central Cotton Research Institute Multan Dr. Zahoor Ahmed said that the cotton sowing calendar should be changed immediately as the crop that is most affected by climate change is the cotton crop. Temperatures will be 2 degrees higher this season, so we will have to change the timetable to keep the cotton crop safe, otherwise we won’t be able to get desired results.

Dr. Zahoor Ahmed also said that no attention is being paid to the crisis of cotton seeds. Seed blight should be reliable and no batch should be allowed to be used without testing. Pink Ballwarm has severely damaged the cotton crop and fiber. Keeping in mind all this farmers need to change.

Inventor of the S12 variety of cotton and the former director of the Cotton Research station, Dr, Muneer uddin Khan said the gap between farmers and experts and research institutes has widened. The situation in the field is different while the laboratory results are reversed. He said that in order to save the cotton crop, there should be a ban on sugar mills and sugarcane crop in the cotton belt.

Former director Central Cotton Research Institute Multan Dr Dil Bagh Muhammad said that system of giving approval of seeds should be improved. Monopoly of monopolists regarding cotton seeds in Punjab should be abolished and cotton should be established at the national level for analysis. He also said that there should be a proper monitoring system for the people who were involved in seed business.

Chairman agronmy department Bahauddin Zakaria University Dr Nazim Hussain Lahar said that experiments should be conducted for cotton cultivation through seedlings. Farmers should come up with modern production technology in this regard.

Senior agriculture scientist Malik Amir Bucha said that increase penalties against those who were involved in the business of substandard pesticides. He also said that seats of pathologists should be increased in agricultural universities.

Deputy Director Agriculture reforms Naveed Asmat Kahloon said that steps are being taken to prepare a disease-free crop and this year’s cotton crop will be in a better position. It is welcoming that government has started taking positive steps for increasing the production of cotton in the country. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam while taking right step on the right time under the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, federal government through provincial governments will provide seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to control attack of white flies on subsidized rates. But while distributing it, one thing should keep in mind that it benefits only the needy. A positive strategy should be made that it should benefit cotton growers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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