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APTMA concerned over failure of cotton crop in Punjab

ISLAMABAD, 19 JAN, (DNA) – The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)-Chairman Tariq Saud has expressed concerns over the one-third drop in cotton crop i.e. five million bales in quantity terms, and said that it has hit hard both the agriculture sector and textile industry by and large.

He further concerned over the fact that 96 percent of countrywide crop shortage took place in the province of Punjab.

As of 15th Jan 2016, the cotton arrival has registered a shortage of five million bales to 9.47 million against 14.25 million bales last year for the same period, 33.51% in precise. In Punjab, on the other hand, the cotton arrival has dropped to 5.74 million bales against 10.34 million bales last year, a shortage of 44.46%. The initial estimates suggest that a drop in cotton crop would value to about Rs179 billion to the farm sector so far as the prices of lint and banola are concerned.

Chairman APTMA said the end-to-end supply chain right from the farm to the textile value-added industry was paying through nose the inefficiencies of the government run cotton departments and institutions. “Pakistan Textile industry is heavily dependent on the domestic cotton, as it takes strength from it against the regional competitors,” he added.

He said despite a partial climatic impact still the cotton relating institutions are responsible for supply of spurious seed, ineffective role of agriculture extension and incredible cotton research.

“All government Institutions are responsible for supply of adulterated pesticides and spurious seed lacking the required efficacy to combat the attack of pink bollworm, “he lamented.

Chairman APTMA said the government should take the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Punjab Seed Corporation, agriculture extension and other relevant quarters to the task for dragging the cotton economy into a problematic situation.

“The industry is left with no option but to import cotton on import parity price for consumption,” he said and warned a dire impact on the country’s GDP, he added.

Saud said the prevailing circumstances speak in volume about the impression as if government has lost focus on agriculture and textile industry altogether, which needs to be dispelled without delay. He further added that supply of cost effective inputs would be a challenge for the government ahead, especially when the imminent shortage of seed may also add problems to the government for next crop.

Chairman APTMA has appealed for some tangible timely initiatives in place to redress the situation and save both the cotton farmers and textile millers from another crisis next year. = DNA

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