ISLAMABAD-The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) would meet during next week in order to make second estimation of crop output during the season as well as setting the priorities for next season.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam would chair the meeting which would also discuss the ways and means to address the challenges being faced to enhance per-acre production of the crop, said Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah.

Talking to APP here on Friday, he said that cotton output in the country has been reduced by 35 percent while the national production was revised to 8.59 million bales as against the set targets of 10.89 million bales.

The shortfall was mainly attributed to losses caused by torrential rains in Sindh and insufficient availability of certified seeds and lack of on farm pest management, he added.

In order to regain the losses during next season, he said that ministry was evolving a mechanism to ensure availability of seeds, pesticides and provide them training about crop management.

He said that the ministry has also accelerated work on developing new high yielding seeds verities to achieve maximum output in order to enhance farm income and fulfill the requirements of domestic industrial sector.

The CCAC in its first meeting was informed that estimated production in Punjab would be 5.3 million bales against a target of 06 million bales; Sindh 03 million bales against a target of 4.60 million bales, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6,500 bales and Balochistan 291,000 bales.

Gov sets target to produce about 560,000 tonnes of gram, 890,000 tonnes lentil

In order to fulfill the domestic requirement of pulses, the government has set a target to produce about 560,000 tons of gram and 890,000 tons of lentil during Rabi season 2020-21.

It had fixed to cultivate gram over 988.2 thousand hectares and lentil over 17.1 thousand hectares of land across the country, the crop sowing areas in the country, said an official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

Talking to APP on Thursday, he said that bumper production of pulses including moong and gram during the Kharif season was achieved that would help to  ave $129 million as import substitute.

He said that Pakistan harvested 76,000 tons additional moong against its set target for Kharif season and 53,000 tons of gram respectively as compared to production of last year.

The Provincial Crop Reporting Departments, he said, in their reports, have reported record production of rice in the history which was 8.18 million tons from an area of 3.3 million hectares.

The output witnessed an increase of 10.39%. It is also estimated that export of rice will be increased as 780,000 tons produced more rice as compared to the previous year.

The country spent $135.302 million on the import of pulses or leguminous vegetables during first quarter of financial year 2020-21 as compared to $118.710 million of corresponding period of last year.

According the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, during the period under review, about 274,299 metric tons of pulses were imported as compared to import of 252,811 metric tons of same period last year.