2017!!! A hope for a better year in consideration with cotton

(Zia Ur Rahman Farooqi, Faisalabad)

Arbaz Hassan, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, UAF

In Pakistan cotton ranks 2nd important crop after wheat in terms of area and value added. In 1991 Pakistan ranked 3rd globally after china and US in production and stood first in export. Cotton is used as fiber as well as an oil seed crop. Pakistan can not only high amount earn foreign exchange but also can extract oil to lessen the burden to import of edible oil by increasing it production provide less problematic fields to cotton.

In Pakistancotton faced many issues some related to field and the other to market. The year2015 production of cotton decreased from 10.6 million bales to 7 million bales. In 2016 yield increased but not up to the marki.e 8.25 million bales which is still not satisfactory. The major problems were climate change insect pests (pink bollworm), competition with major crops like wheat and other cash crops, low market price, lack of incentive to farmers. These was some major reasons but behind the curtain some of the problems at farmer level also exist like the high price and less availability of fertilizers and pesticides. Farmer is not willing to grow a crop which has high input but lower output. But in 2017the yield is expected to jump at very higher level due to the reasons discussed below.

The major problems were climate change insect pests (pink bollworm), competition with major crops like wheat and other cash crops, low market price, lack of incentive to farmers. These was some major reasons but behind the curtain some of the problems at farmer level also exist like the high price and less availability of fertilizers and pesticides. Farmer is not willing to grow a crop which has high input but lower output.

However, every fall has a stand. Pakistan is expecting to resolve the issues in cotton production by taking some of incentives. In 2016 the expected production was 8-10 percent of total world production which could not accomplished due to problems discussed earlier in the article, this can be increased to 11 percent and has chance to improve the international ranking level from 4th in the world to upper level. There should be a campaign to resolve the issues to increase the production up to the mark. Traditional varieties are not according to our requirement, now people moves to modern varieties i.e. organic cotton which will be have high potential of yield, quality, lint, fiber length etc.

University of agriculture Faisalabad and Burywala are preparing extension workers to aware them from latest technology. Now in Pakistan, plant breeders are working on organic cotton which will be having high potential in the future. These projects going on in new developing area like Baluchistan. Pakistan cotton research institute now in active form and standardization classing and grading system of cotton varieties which will be according to our climate and field level.

In future; Pakistan are struggling to improve its international ranking in cotton production. Pakistani breeders are improving Btgene expression to cope with the issues like its oil contents may be low in linolenic acid and other harmful compounds to make it safe for human consumption and to increase its yield and fiber quality. It will show result well in the future. PCRI (Pakistan cotton research institute) is now working on standardization classing and grading system of cotton varieties which will be according to our climate and field level.

Government is playing its own role to strengthen the seed certification departments for the better seed quality and purity. During 2015-16, 64 seed companies were examined, in 64 on 32 seed companies were approved 32 seed companies were deferred by the Working Group of the Ministry in its 55th meeting held. It is insuring that all companies of cotton seed are be proved or not. Sixteen (16) new varieties of Cotton will be approved for distribution and multiplication. While 25 new candidate varieties have been studied for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability. If all varieties are approved and properly checked its result and expectation in future. It will perform well in future.

Moreover, Australia has given a grant to Pakistani farmers to aware them from latest technology and sought out some financial issues which are obstacle in the failure of getting the potential yield. More than 200,000 farmers will receive indispensable training in 2017. The Australian Governments’ business partnership platform (BCI) has granted AUD500, 000(Ref. THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE). BCI with collaboration of other brands made a plan to make the Pakistani farmers aware of latest technology and are persuade to give an incentive to produce cotton.

If seed companies or agencies inspect the seed of cotton (germination rate, facing climatic condition etc.), there will be not any chance of potential yield decrease. One of the most important step for seed companies and agencies as well as farmer to check the seed sample and check its germination by germination test. There will be no issue of plant germination in field. If you have to make sure the seed quality good, it has resistant against insect pest or other climatically condition. In future you can get good potential yield from your field. These steps will make the farmers willing to produce cotton.

After easing slightly in December, many benchmark cotton prices ticked higher in early January. Chinese prices declined marginally over the past month(November).Prices for the March NY futures contract rose from levels below 70 cents/lb in late December to as high as 75 cents/lb in intraday training in early January. The latest values have been between 72 and 74 cents/lb.Movement in the A Index followed that of NY futures. The A Index held to values below 80 cents/lb through early January, but has risen to levels near 82 cents/lb more recently. These rise and falls were just marketing effects.

Mill-delivered prices for Chinese cotton (CC Index) edged lower in international terms over the past month (from 105 to 103 cents/lb). In domestic terms, the CC Index decreased from 15,950 to 15,800 RMB/ton.
Prices for the popular Indian Shankar-6 variety increased from the equivalent of 73 cents/lb in late December to 77 cents/lb recently. In domestic terms, prices rose from 39,000 INR/candy to 41,000 INR/candy.
Prices on the Pakistani spot market moved marginally higher, rising from 72 to 74 cents/lb. In domestic terms, the change was from 6,200 to 6,350 PRK/mound.


Given the recent strength of cotton prices relative to prices for other crops, notably corn, planted cotton acreage can be expected to expand in 2017/18. So it is the need of the hour to stabilize cotton prices at high level. So that incentive could be given to farmers to increase the production area.
 

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