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ISLAMABAD: The rains will have a positive impact on Kharif crops including sugarcane, rice, cotton and maize as they would improve water availability for crops.

A senior official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) and an agriculture expert said that the ongoing rains would have a very positive impact on both high delta Kharif crops including sugarcane, rice and maize and low delta Kharif cotton.

He further stated that according to Indus River System Authority (IRSA) the country is facing water shortage of 38 percent for irrigation purposes but current rain spell would increase the water level in the country’s dams as well as rivers.

However, he said that if the rain spell continues for a long time especially in the cotton belt it would have a negative impact on its output as rain causes various diseases in cotton crop.

Dr Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, of MNFS&R told Business Recorder that recent rains would not affect cotton crop but in case rains persist, then it would negatively impact on the cotton crop.

Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) during its previous meeting held on April 1, fixed 11 million bales of cotton production target from an area of 2.5 million hectares for year 2022-23. The meeting also fixed 8.6 million tons production target for rice over an area of 3.1 million hectares. The FCA fixed the production target of sugarcane for year 2022-23 at 78.6 million tons from an area of 1.2 million hectares.

According to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) monthly outlook for current month, overall, is a trend towards above normal precipitation over most parts of the country. North eastern Punjab, Kashmir and the adjoining areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Sindh are expected to receive above normal rainfall during this month. Most parts of Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan may receive nearly normal rainfall during June 2022.

The PMD has forecast more pre-monsoon rains. According to PMD, rain-wind/thundershowers are expected in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Hafizabad, M B Din, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Jhang, T T Singh till June 21, while in Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Bhakkar, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, KotAdu, Sahiwal, Khanewal, Pakpattan, Okara, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Khanpur and Rahimyar Khan till June 20 with occasional gaps.

The Met office predicted rain-wind/thundershowers (with isolated heavy falls) in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Mansehra, Kohistan, Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar, Swabi, Nowshera, Kurram, Kohat, Waziristan, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan till June 22 with occasional gaps. Rain-wind/thunder showers (with isolated heavy falls) are expected in Sibbi, Bolan, Naseerabad, Jhal Magsi, Mastung, Barkhan, Ziarat, Zhob, Quetta, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chaman and Harnai till June 20. Hot and dry weather in most parts of the province with chances of dust-thunderstorm/rain in Sukkur, Jacobabad and Larkana.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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