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The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has revised downward the cotton production target by 19.5 percent, i.e., from 10.5 million bales set for 2021-22 to 8.46 million bales, after missing the sowing target by 13.4 percent. According to media reports, the sowing target was set at 2.310 million hectares; however, cotton was sown on 1.871 million hectares. In other words, only 83.2 percent of the sowing target was achieved. This is quite strange in view of the fact that the present government had set intervention price of Rs5000 per 40kg. And this happened after eight years, which should have sufficiently encouraged the growers to invest in crop management and harvest high yields. It means that the announcement of mere intervention price was not enough to motivate growers towards cotton. The government, in my view, is required to arrange quality inputs for farmers in time. Timely availability of inputs is critical to taking timely decisions. Secondly, the government will also be required to make the items that the farmers need ahead of cotton sowing available at affordable rates.

Hamid Dareshak (Rajanpur, Punjab)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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