Cotton Crop no more Profitable
MULTAN: “I have no option other than to switch to alternative crops from cotton crop for survival because we can hardly afford the present production cost,’’ said Malik Iqbal , a grower at Mauza Larr, and the Pakistan Kissan Committee president.
Talking to The News, he said the cotton sowing was profitable a few years back, but now it had become unprofitable. Cotton growers now thinks that sowing of cotton crop had become a fatigued for them after experiencing continuous rise in cost of production with massive spread of spurious pesticides and frustrated financial incentives, he added.
The country had a shortfall of five million cotton bales this year, which was behind the target of 15 million bales as fixed by Prime Minister Imran Khan for cotton crop 2018-19, he told.
The government had introduced Prime Minister Agriculture Emergency Programme with Rs 300 billion budget, which had excluded the promotion of cotton crop, he said.
Pakistan Kissan Ittehad president Khalid Khokhar told that the PMAEP had excluded promotion of cotton crop. “The cotton, rice and sugarcane growers were largely suffering from high cost of production and facing losses of Rs 74,000 per acre as a result of sowing rice, cotton and sugarcane crops”, he said. The Punjab Agriculture Department had made all efforts to achieve the target and taken all possible measures but failed in achieving the target of 15 million bales, he disclosed. Pakistan had the highest cost of production in cotton cultivation in the south Asian countries with increased rates of fertilisers and unchecked costly spread of spurious pesticides, he added.
The Multan Central Cotton Research Institute had developed per acre comparison of per acre cotton cost production among Pakistan, China and India, he informed. It was surprising to note that the Indian cost of production was the lowest in Pak rupees, he told.
He said that the statistics shows Pakistan growers were bearing per acre expenses to the tune of Rs 76,525 as compare to India bearing only Rs 18,659 and Chinese growers bearing Rs 70,276. The growers in Pakistan were selling per kilogram cotton at Rs 195 as compared to Indian farmers who were selling at Rs 276 and China at Rs 274.
He told that the comparison shows that Pakistan growers were bearing a higher cost of production than receiving lower incentives. Malik Iqbal demanded the government should announce Phutti support prices at Rs 5,500 per maund in January for next cotton crop 2020-2021.