Cotton production surged by 79.9 percent to 3.93 million bales in September this year from 2.19 million bales in the same period last year, reports WealthPK.
The surge in the production of this important cash crop reflects a growing focus on enhancing production, which is encouraging for export and overall economic outlook in FY2024.
"The surge in cotton production is a testament to the nation's resilience and potential in the agriculture sector," said Muhammad Akbar, Scientific Officer at the Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan, while talking to WealthPK.
He said the increase in production had the potential to revive the cotton industry and boost economy in the upcoming year.
"The adoption of modern agricultural practices, including precision farming, genetically modified seeds, and efficient irrigation techniques, has significantly improved the cotton yield. The farmers are embracing technology to enhance productivity and reduce resource wastage.
"However, it is essential to analyse this development in a broader context. Pakistan, historically one of the world's leading cotton producers, faced significant challenges in recent years, including natural disasters such as floods and issues related to the quality of seeds. Therefore, this sudden uptick in cotton production offers a glimpse of the country's immense potential in the cotton sector," he added.
"The impact of this surge in cotton production will reverberate throughout the country's textile industry and beyond. It will not only lead to cost savings by reducing reliance on expensive cotton imports but also open the doors to potential foreign exchange earnings through cotton exports. This is particularly crucial for a country facing foreign exchange reserves crisis, as it helps stabilize the financial situation.
"Additionally, this surge is a welcome relief for the textile industry — the largest contributor to export earnings. With this increased domestic cotton supply, the textile industry can meet its requirements more efficiently, enhance capacity utilization, and potentially seize more export opportunities. The potential growth in the textile sector holds the key to job creation and economic prosperity in Pakistan," said Akbar.
Continuing, he said while the surge in cotton production was a positive sign, it's important to recognize that the challenges persist.
"Availability of quality seeds remains a chronic issue needing attention. Additionally, sustainability and resilience in the cotton sector are also crucial, especially in a changing climate. The sector's potential growth should be accompanied by investments in sustainable practices, including pest management, drought resilience, and adaptation to weather-related challenges," he added.