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ISLAMABAD: The government is hopeful of higher cotton yield during the current fiscal year on the back of increase in cotton cultivation area in Punjab and Sindh.

The Finance Ministry’s economic outlook for July 2021 has noted that the sowing of cotton crop in Punjab is in progress, whereas, in Sindh it has almost been completed.

The initial estimates reported by Crop Reporting Service Department Punjab, the cultivated area of cotton crop is recorded at 1.279 million hectares, which is around 80 percent of the target, whereas, cotton cultivation area in Sindh has registered more than 90 percent of the target (0.592 million hectares). Additionally, improved quality of cotton seed has been used both in Punjab and Sindh this year, raising the hope of a higher yield.

The agriculture inputs situation remained favorable.

Fixation of cotton intervention price: Cabinet refers back ECC’s decision

The ministry further stated that according to Pakistan Automotive and Manufacturing Association (PAMA), farm tractors production significantly jumped to 50,486 during the fiscal year 2021, reflecting an increase of 54.8 percent, whereas, tractors sales also increased to 54.9 percent compared to fiscal year 2020.

The inputs availability is sufficient and it is expected that the agriculture sector will continue to perform well on account of continuing support of the government.

The government has launched “Prime Minister’s Fiscal Package” for Kharif crops, which will provide subsidy through provinces using their existing mechanisms on sharing basis (75:25) for fertilisers use in cotton and rice (DAP Rs1,500/acre) to cover 70 percent of targeted cultivated areas and 100 percent share of federal government for cotton seed (Rs1,200/acre) to cover 66 percent of targeted cultivated area and for whitefly (Rs1,200/acre) to cover 70 percent of targeted cultivated areas. The federal government share – 75 percent – for subsidy on fertilisers would be Rs10.216 billion and for subsidy on cotton seed and whitefly would be Rs8.942 billion, noted the ministry.

As per provisional data, disbursement of credit to agriculture sector was Rs1,191 billion during Jul-May 2020-21, up by 10.1 percent over Rs1,080 billion for the same period a year before.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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