ISLAMABAD – Cotton crop will be cultivated over 7.648 million acres of land to produce about 14.1 million cotton bales during coming crop season of 2013-14 to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as to export.

Cotton Development Commissioner, Dr. Khlid Abdullah told APP here on Thursday that FCC which met with Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan in chair set the targets after taking into account the data provided by the departments concerned.

For crop season 2013-14, the target for area under cotton-cultivation was set at 7.648 million acres or 3.092 million hectare which is higher than 5 per cent over the area sown in last year, he added.  Khalid Abdullah informed that the committee has set to produce 14.1 million cotton bales consisting 170 kg during the crop season 2013-14 which was also higher by 5.75 per cent than the current season’s anticipated cotton production.

He further said that FCC also deliberated upon its mandate including set targets of area under cotton cultivation, production of cotton and arop calendar to ensure basic production data during the crop season.  The Committee was informed by the representative of IRSA that water availability in reservoirs would be satisfactory during the cotton sowing and growing season, he added.

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, he added.  He said that Seed Certification and Registration department informed the committee that in current scenario, certified cotton seed availability would be less than 10per cent 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 12per cent.

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.

Dr. Abdullah said that 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.