Aptma for setting the cotton support price.
According to a statement from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), the government should offer a cotton support price of Rs8, 000 per maund for the coming season.
Wheat is currently being harvested in Punjab, and cotton sowing will begin in the next days, thus this window for capturing the largest acreage for cotton should not be missed or postponed, according to the statement.
“Farmers who have switched to other crops such as sugarcane, rice, and corn will benefit from the Minimum Support Price (MSP).” Last year, MSP was announced as well, but the government was late in revealing the price, which came near the conclusion of the sowing season.
Cotton production per acre climbed 33.5 percent from 433kg/hectare to 652kg/hectare during the cropping season of 2021/22 as farmers took extra precautions due to the anticipated higher price of cotton.”
According to the Aptma, Pakistan is losing at least $5 billion due to low cotton production, with an increase in cotton production having a direct impact of $1 billion per million bales and a seven-fold multiplier effect on the economy’s fiscal flows.
Cotton production has decreased by 33% in the last decade, from 2.9 million hectares to 1.9 million hectares. Cotton is grown by almost 1.5 million farmers, with Punjab accounting for 75% of the crop and Sindh accounting for the remainder.
Cotton yields in Pakistan have declined 26% in the last decade, from 880kg/hectare to 652kg/hectare, with the decline in Punjab being more extreme, with productivity falling 36% from 814kg/hectare in 2012 to 520kg/hectare in 2022.
Cotton has lost 1 million hectares in the last decade, and reverting this land to cotton would result in an additional 5 million bales of cotton being produced, adding 1.52% to GDP and saving the government $5 billion directly, according to the association’s analysis.
This year, the timely announcement of the MSP will improve not only yields but also the area seeded, resulting in a projected rise of 5 million bales of cotton.