ISLAMABAD - Cotton crop output during the current season was expected to cross 14.23 million bales as the area under crop cultivation had witnessed over 2 percent increase during the period under review as compared the same period of last year.

Due to favorable weather conditions, suitable climate position for crop, better management and low intensity of pest attack in the Punjab and Sindh province as compared the last year were indicating significant growth in output, said Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah.

Talking to APP here on Tuesday, he said that white fly attacks on  cotton crop in the Punjab had reduced from 17 percent to 12 percent, where as jassid 13 percent against 15 percent of the last year.

The pest attack including cotton mealybugs, pink ball worm also reduced and it was reported at 23 percent as compared the 27 percent of same period of last year, he observed.

However, he said that the cotton crop in the Sindh had remained under water stress due to bellow normal rain falls in crop growing areas of the province, where as the water situation remained satisfactory in Punjab, which had supplemented the over all output for the season.

Dr Abdullah further informed that due to water stress, the overall 5-10 percent yield in Sindh was expected to reduce, adding that prices of local produces was remained stable and encouraging the growers.

The prices of above mentioned commodity in the international markets were recorded at 91 Cents, where as in local markets it was sold at Rs 4,000  per 40 kg, Cotton Commissioner added.

It may be recalled that cotton crop had been sown over 2.69 million hectares of land as against the fixed targets of  2.95 million hectares in order to produce over 14.37 million cotton bales during the crop season 2018-19.

The crop cultivation targets, which fixed for the current sowing season were achieved by over 91 percent as it went up by 2  percent as compared with the area under cotton crop cultivation during same period of last year.

Over all cotton sowing in the Province of Punjab  registered about 11 percent growth as it had cultivated the crop over 2.29 million hectares of land as against the set targets of 2.31 million hectares for the period under review.

However, crop sowing in the Sindh Province was decreased by 31percent and attributed the low sowing trend with dry weather during the crop sowing time as well as shortage of water for crop irrigation.