ISLAMABAD               -              The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Wednesday expressed concern over continued fall in cotton production dubbing it a serious threat to the economy. According to the latest available data the cotton production fell by 19.98 percent up to February 01 resulting in loss of 2.119 million bales, it said. A long term policy backed by incentives is required to arrest the falling trend in cotton production which is one the most important crops for Pakistan, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI. She said that low cotton output is hurting millions in the farming communities and it is to drag exports and GDP down. The fall in production has necessitated import worth four billion dollars to keep the textile industry running which will hit forex reserves, she added. Cotton holds 8.5 percent share in GDP and it earns 12 billion dollars in exports, therefore, it needs immediate attention of the government. She said that the reasons behind the low cotton output include climate change, low cotton prices and hike in prices of inputs and use of the substandard seed. Moreover, the pink bollworm and continue to play havoc with the crop with no solution in sight. The cotton sowing target is being missed every year which will result in disastrous consequences if the trend continued in the future, she warned. Calling immediate action by the authorities concerned, she said that delay in reviving cotton crop can hurt the economy very badly.