ISLAMABAD: The current monsoon rains will have a positive impact on major Kharif crops production including sugarcane and rice but it will have a negative impact on cotton if rains continue for a long period.

A senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNS&R) told Business Recorder that rains would have a positive impact on sugarcane, rice, and maize cultivation but will have a negative impact on cotton production if rains continue for many days as heavy rains or above normal rainfall causes various diseases in cotton crop.

He said that currently cotton crop is at the ball formation stage therefore more rain in the cotton belt of the country may affect the crop. The government has fixed a cotton production target of 12 million bales from an area of 2.767 million hectares.

The official said that Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) during its previous meeting fixed rice production target for the year 2023-24 at 9 million tons from 3.1 million hectares and 7.6 million tons for Maize on over 1.3 million hectares of land. The committee fixed the production target of sugarcane at 78.6 million tons over an area of 1.2 million hectares for the Kharif season 2023-24.

As per the monthly outlook of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), slightly above-normal rainfall is likely to continue in most parts of the country. The likelihood of slightly above-normal rainfall prevails due to western disturbances over Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and adjoining Kashmir. Occasional heavy to very heavy rainfall/thunderstorms are also expected at isolated places over Punjab and Sindh during the forecast month, it further stated.

According to the weather forecast for the next 24 hours, scattered wind thunderstorms/rain of light to moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls is expected over the upper catchments of all the major rivers, Islamabad along with Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala and Lahore divisions.

The National Agromet Center (NAC) of PMD in its advisory has urged farmers of cotton crop areas to drain out excess rainwater from the field as the accumulation of water affects food formation process in plants and may cause small balls to fall. Pest/viral attacks are expected in cotton and sugarcane crops during hot and humid conditions during monsoon therefore farmers should be very careful and take precautionary measures on time in this regard, the advisory further says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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