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LAHORE: The market remained dull on Thursday. The trading volume remained low. Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that the rate of cotton in Punjab and Sindh is in between Rs 18000 to Rs 21,000 per maund

Considering the cost of production and expected international price scenarios of future markets, Ministry of National Food Security and Research has proposed to revise intervention price of seed cotton (Phutti) to Rs 6,000 per 40 kg for crop season 2022-23.

The proposal also aimed at reviving cotton production in the country, bring stability in domestic market and ensure fair return to the farmers for their produces, said an senior official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Talking to APP here on Wednesday, he said that the ministry has also proposed for constituting a Cotton Price Review Committee (CPRC) with mandate to review market prices and propose intervention at fortnightly bases.

He said that the proposals would be submitted in the meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of Cabinet for approval that would help to develop and promote declining major cash crop for achieving sustainable agriculture development and prosperity of the farming communities across the crop sowing areas in the country.

The CPRC would regularly monitor the cotton prices in the main domestic markets of Punjab and Sindh, as well as those in the international markets and issue a brief price report at weekly interval, he said, adding that under the suggested framework, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) would intervene to buy up to 2 million bales of lint cotton on the pre-determined price based of Rs. 6,000 per 40kg. He further informed that price intervention policy during last year (2021-22) resulted in price stability in domestic market and fair investment in crop management. He added that it also resulted in 2 million bales additional production despite that the area under crop production declined by 7%.

Balanced application of fertilizers recommended for better cotton production. Farmers must get soil analyzed from laboratory to get knowledge of soil strength and weaknesses to ensure balanced application of fertilizers for healthier cotton production, said the spokesman of Agriculture Department on Wednesday. He said that need-based or balanced application of fertilizers could increase cotton production by 25-30 percent.

He said that farmers having weaker soil must apply 1.75 bags of DAP, 3.5 bags of Urea, 1.5 bag of SOP or MOP per acre and the soil with medium strength would need 1.5 bags of DAP, 3.25 bags of Urea, 1.5 bag of SOP or 1.25 bags of MOP. The spokesman added that the fertile land should get 1.25 bag of DAP, 3 bags of Urea, 1.5 bags of SOP or 1.25 bags of MOP. The recommendation is meant for main cotton sowing areas including Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Lodhran, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Sahiwal and Rahim Yar Khan, he told.

The spokesman also prescribed fertilizers application in secondary cotton sowing areas including Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Bakhar, Mianwali, Kasur, Okara and Pakpattan.

He said that weak soil in secondary cotton areas should get 1.75 bags of DAP, 3.25 bags of Urea, 1.25 bags of SOP or one bag of MOP. Medium fertile land should get 1.5 bags of DAP, 3 bags of Urea, 1.25 bags of SOP or one bag of MOP. Fertile land should get 1.25 bags of DAP, 2.5 bags of Urea, 1.25 bags of SOP or a bag of MOP.

Farmers should apply full recommended quantity of potassium and phosphorous fertilizers at the time of sowing. However, in case of Nitrogen, one-third be applied at the time of sowing, one-third at buds formation and remaining at flower stage, he added.

Despite prevailing unprecedented heat-wave and huge water shortage at the beginning of Kharif season 2022, the Punjab Agriculture Department (PAD) is hopeful not only to achieve the cotton sowing target of 4 million acres for the current season rather surpass it.

“We are hoping to achieve 4.5 million acres of land under cotton crop this season against the target of 4 million acres while producing the white gold worth US$ 3-4 billion more than the estimates,” official sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday.

There was an issue with the water availability creating fear about hitting the crop but now there are hopes that some water will reach canals soon not as much as desired but little bit more than the present water available due to melting of glaciers. However, Sindh is demanding that it must be given water before Punjab as its crop season is 10 days ahead of Punjab.

But we (Punjab) are saying that shortage should be shared by all the provinces so as to facilitate the growers. Now it is up to IRSA that what decision it takes. Sindh has right on 42 per cent of the available 114 million acres feet of water on our system, they added.

Throwing light on why the department is optimist about surpassing the sowing target, the sources said that last year the yield was good while prices also inflated and growers got up to Rs 12,000 per maund against the support price of Rs 5,000 per maund. They said this year certified seed penetration is also better which till last year was only three per cent and rest was taken care by the private sector or farmer to farmer deals.

The sources said that cotton scheme launched this year was also very aggressive and the department would reach each and every cotton grower to apprise him about better agronomic practices to achieve the best yield. They said that plans are also in place to tackle different pest issues such as pink bollworm or white fly.

DG Extension (Agriculture) Punjab Dr. Anjum Ali Buttar while talking to this scribe said that though water shortage had hit cotton crop in some division but situation is quite healthy in the divisions where tube well water is used. Till date Punjab had achieved 62 per cent of the target of four million acres of land which was 30 per cent more than the previous year. He said that cotton can be sown till June 07, and we are quite hopeful to manage the target.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz held a telephonic contact with the Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khurshid Shah in which matters relating to shortage of water and water supply across Punjab especially to South Punjab came under discussion.

The CM demanded the provision of water supply to Punjab according to its allocated quota and emphasized that water be provided to Punjab with the same proportion in which it is provided to the other provinces. Hamza Shahbaz underscored that the whole country is facing shortage of water and we have to cope with this problem jointly.

ICE cotton futures rose on Wednesday supported by mill buying and concerns over the natural fiber crop, despite some rains in key growing regions.

Cotton contracts for July rose 0.79 cent, or 0.55%, at 143.73 cents per lb, at 12:11 p.m. ET (1611 GMT). It traded within a range of 142.36 and 144.43 cents a lb.

“You still have some short covering and some mill fixations… the rainfall amounts in West Texas, while welcomed, were not nearly enough to salvage the situation out there,” said Jim Nunn, owner of Tennessee-based cotton brokerage Nunn Cotton, adding that the gains in wider grains markets also gave cotton a boost.

While there are demand concerns from China due to COVID-induced lockdowns, there would be a better idea of that once the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) export sales report is released tomorrow, Nunn added. The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 21000 per maund. Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 292 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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