PR No. 222 Islamabad: December 23, 2015

The fourth meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) was held on 14th December 2015 and attended by representatives of provincial agriculture departments (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw), officials from Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute, Trading Corporation of Pakistan and grower member from Sindh.

Dr. Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner appraised the house about cotton crop condition, pests/disease pattern and impact of heavy rains and floods to the cotton crop 2015-16. He stated that current year cotton production was mainly affected by heavy rains in June-July especially in cotton belt of Punjab, increased pest pressure of whitefly and pink bollworm. The environmental changes are casting adverse impact on cotton yield. The availability of fake and inferior pesticides coupled with high prices of branded inputs discouraged farmers for better crop management and required application of inputs. Moreover, the declining trend of required plant population per acre over the last few years is also resulting in decreased production.

The representatives of the Provincial Governments explained the methodology of cotton crop assessment and informed the house about the crop estimates as below:

ProvinceExpected Production

(Million bales of 170 kg each)

Khyber Pakhktunkhaw0.002954

*Figures based on 1st estimate by Crop Reporting Service Department, Government of Punjab.

The representative of Punjab informed the Committee that their production estimates are in the process of finalization, therefore, insisted that previous estimates of 7.4 million bales may be considered till the availability of new figures. The Committee was of the view that due to aforesaid natural causes, the cotton production in Punjab province has gone below the previous estimates of 7.4 million bales as the PCGA arrivals showed 40% decrease and fortnight flow was over 65% decreased than the previous year. The representative of Punjab stated that the 2nd estimate by the department would be compiled by next week and actual figures will be communicated accordingly. The farmer member from Sindh suggested that actual cotton crop estimate for the current season may be assessed after release of cotton arrival figures by the PCGA and second crop estimate by the Punjab.

The Cotton Commissioner stated that cotton crop size is assessed on the basis of data provided by the Provincial Governments, yield parameters and keeping in view damages due to pests/disease and rains etc. The meeting adjourned with a vote of thanks to and from the chair.