Federal Committee on Cotton met on February 27, 2013

Ministry of Textile Industry
Government of Pakistan
February 27, 2013

Federal Committee on Cotton met on February 27, 2013 in the Ministry of Textile Industry, Islamabad, under the chairmanship of Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry. The meeting was attended by representatives of Governments of Punjab & Sindh, Meteorological Department, Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department, Zarai Tarqiati Bank, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Bureau of Statistics, Indus River System Authority, Punjab Seed Corporation, Department of Plant Protection and Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and cotton growers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Federal Committee on Cotton which was constituted last year after the devolution of MinFA met to deliberate upon its mandate i.e. to set targets of area under cotton cultivation, production of cotton and to assess the availability of inputs specifically water, seed, fertilizer and pesticides as well as to amend the cotton crop calendar to ensure basic production data during the crop season.

All participants deliberated at length on the issues at hand. The Committee was informed by the representative of IRSA that water availability in reservoirs would be satisfactory during the cotton sowing and growing season. A detailed presentation by the Meteorological Department highlighted that normal and slightly above normal rainfall and temperature range in the cotton belt of Sindh and Punjab province is expected in the coming cotton season. High temperature in northern areas during mid-summer would result in snow melt and appropriate level of irrigation water in canals for Kharif crops. Fertilizer and cotton related pesticide availability would be satisfactory as informed by the department concerned. Seed Certification and Registration department informed the committee that in current scenario, certified cotton seed availability would be less than 10% of the total requirement of certified seed. It was decided that a meeting of all stakeholders will be held in the coming week to deliberate upon improving the situation of availability of certified seed to the farmers. To avoid speculation on the basis of production data released by domestic and international stakeholders, it was decided by the Committee that the cotton production assessment would be carried out by the provinces in the month of October instead of November.

ZTBL representative informed that approximately Rs. 16 billion were disbursed for cotton cultivation in the last season and for the coming cotton it would be increased by at least 12%. Regarding participation of other banks, Punjab informed that with the help of State Bank of Pakistan, 5 major commercial banks will be starting “one-window” financing facilities to growers, which will further improve the availability of credit. The representative from Sindh Government informed that they are in process of finalization of similar arrangement in their province.

The Committee after taking into account the data provided by the departments concerned decided that for coming cotton crop season 2013-14 the target for area under cotton-cultivation is set as 7.648 million acres (3.092 million ha) which is higher by 5% than the area sown over the last year. Production targets for the year 2013-14 are set at 14.1 million bales (170 kg) which is 5.75% more than the current season’s anticipated cotton production.