Rahimyar Khan -A major locust attack in most cotton zones of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh is likely to severely affect the country’s aggregate cotton production once again.

Sources said that after a decade full availability of canal water and reduced cultivation of sugarcane, record cultivation of cotton was expected to increase Pakistan’s aggregate cotton production this year. They said that it was expected that after about 10 years this year, Pakistan would again produce 15 million bales of cotton, which would now seem difficult due to a severe attack of locusts.

They said that the major cotton growing districts in Punjab are Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Rajanpur, DG Khan, and Sibi, Dera Murad Jamali, Khuzdar, Lasbela and Kachhi districts of Balochistan. The cotton crop has been severely damaged in Sindh, while in Hyderabad, Matiari, Mirpur Khas, Sanghar and Nawabshah districts of Sindh it has been partially damaged and Ghotki and Sukkur districts have been severely damaged.

They said that according to experts, in the next few days, locusts will come from Muscat via Iran and Indian territories from Cholistan.

There have been reports of major attacks causing severe damage to all crops and green fodder, including cotton, so the federal and provincial governments should take extraordinary measures to eradicate locusts so that the country’s agriculture

They appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to allocate a significant amount of money from the agricultural package announced by him a few days ago for the eradication of locusts.

Pesticides should be procured so that the crops can be saved with the complete eradication of locusts.

They further said that exports of cotton products from Pakistan have been restored in most of the countries of the world including Europe due to easing of lockdown

He said that according to reports, Pakistani textile mills have enough orders for export of cotton products but they were not being fulfilled due to lockdown which is about to start now. It is also expected to significantly increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.