Cotton output seen 0.9m bales higher than last year

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Pakistans cotton production this year is likely to miss the 13.36 million bales target by about half a million bales, however it is still 0.9 million bales more than 11.8 million bales produced last year. According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), world cotton production in 2009-10 is expected to decline by 5.17 per cent to 102 million bales (218 kg a bale). Pakistani cotton bale is equal to 170 kilograms, a private news channel reported on Friday. The ICAC is based in Washington DC and is an association of govts having an interest in cotton production, consumption and trade. US cotton production has been estimated at 12.5m bales, down by 2.51pc over previous year. Besides, production in China, Brazil and Uzbekistan is also expected to decline. Due to global decline in cotton production, its price may further go up in the international market. As Pakistans total cotton requirement is about 16 million bales but domestic production is expected to touch 12.8 million bales. The remaining gap would be met through imports. In a second meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) held here Thursday with Federal Secretary For Food And Agriculture Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman in chair, cotton production has been projected at 12.7 million bales against 12.10 million bales estimated in October 2009. Cotton Crop Assessment Committee has estimates this year cotton crop size at 12.7m bales. Punjab cotton production was estimated at 8.40 million bales, Sindh 4.20 million bales, Balochistan and NWFP at 0.10 million bales. The CCAC made the assessments on the basis of crop review, feedback of provincial Agriculture Departments and stakeholders. Cotton production for Punjab was targeted at 10 million bales, Sindh 3.25 million bales, NWFP and Balochistan was targeted 0.1 million bales each. In Punjab, production declined by about 1.6 million bales, which the ministry officials say was due to abnormal temperature, severe cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) attack - one of the major biotic constraints of cotton production. According to the first estimate of the crop during 2009-10 season, cotton has been sown on an area of 3.072 million hectares (or 7.587 acres). This is 2.54 per cent less than the target of 3.2 million hectares (7.91 million acres). However, compared to year 2008-09 cotton sowing area of 2.82 million hectors, this year it was up by 8.95 percent.

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