Government’s lack of priority and attention to increase cotton yield to support the entire value added textile chain is highly shocking and deplorable. Pakistan is an agriculture country but no concrete steps and measures along with productive policy have been witnessed from the successive governments during last several decades to uplift per hectare yield of agriculture produce particularly of cotton. It is alarming that as per USDA Cotton Statistics, during last decade, Pakistan’s cotton production decreased by approx 35.42% from 9.60 million 480 lb. bales in 2009-10 to 6.20 million 480 lb. bales in 2019-20, cotton cultivation area per million hectare has decreased by approx. 18.33% from 3.00 in 2009-10 to 2.45 in 2019-20, cotton yield decreased by approx 20.95% from 697 per kg / hectare in 2009-10 to 551 per kg / hectare in 2019-20, purportedly due to supply of sub-standard cotton seeds to farmers which has caused colossal losses to our beloved nation in terms of water loss, land loss, labour loss, yield loss, electricity loss beside financial losses to farmers.
As per USDA Cotton Statistics, India has increased its cotton production by 28.26% from 23 million 480 lb. bales in 2009-10 to 29.50 million 480 lb. bales in 2019-20, Cotton Cultivation Area million hectare has increased by approx. 29% from 10.31 in 2009-10 to 13.30 in 2019-20 and cotton yield decreased by approx 0.62% from 486 per kg / hectare in 2009-10 to 483 per kg / hectare in 2019-20. Further, Cotton yield kg per hectare during 2019-20 in Australia is 2268, Brazil is 1759, Turkey is 1318 and USA is 922.
Particulars Unit 2009-10 2019-20 % Change
Cotton Production INDIA (Million 480 lb. bales) 23.00 29.50 28.26%
PAKISTAN (Million 480 lb. bales) 9.60 6.20 -35.42%
Cotton Area INDIA (Million hectares) 10.31 13.30 29.00%
PAKISTAN (Million hectares) 3.00 2.45 -18.33%
Cotton Yield INDIA KGS/Hectare 486 483 -0.62%
PAKISTAN KGS/Hectare 697 551 -20.95%
Source: USDA Cotton Statistics
Huge export orders are available with the value added textile but exporters are unable to take orders due to unavailability of cotton yarn in the country on competitive prices. The Government must immediately take notice of providing sub-standard cotton seeds to farmers by the suppliers and strict action must be taken against them as exporters see that supplying sub-standard seeds to farmers is an act against the interest of Pakistan. It seems a conspiracy to destroy the value added textile exports of Pakistan which is almost 54% of total nation’s export.
Such state of affairs demands the Government to allow import of 32 single yarn and below without any duties and taxes and the exporters, manufacturers and importers, shall be given full liberty to import yarn from any country till the scarcity of cotton yarn is controlled and required quantity of yarn is available in abundance in all Pakistani markets to complete the export order smoothly. Similarly, the Government should also allow import of cotton from neighbouring countries. It is also crucial that the Government should take all practical moves and steps to increase the national cotton produce aligned with the targets set for enhancement of Textile exports in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework. Moreover, the Government should urge and make it compulsory for the large spinning units having more than 30,000 spindle and production to grow their own cotton to manufacture cotton yarn and the Government should extend full support to them in this regard.
Further, in last three months, dollar has also depreciated against Pak Rupees by 4.32% from 168.50 to 161.52 (source: Tresmark) while exporters previously had negotiated and finalized their export orders at dollar rate of PKR 168. Similarly, during last three months, cotton yarn 30/1 prices have been increased by 17% from 195 to 235 per pound. Exporters are hurting from both sides, therefore, Government must intervene to save the value added textile exports. This joint statement was given by Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum and Mohammad Riaz Ahmed, Central Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association.
Pakistan should expand cultivation area and improve its cotton yield to meet the requirement of the Value Added Textile Export Industry which contribute around 54% in total exports, provide highest urban employment particularly to female workforce and supports approx. 40 allied industries. Pakistan’s textile exports cannot be enhanced unless cotton cultivation area and yield is improved. Government should also support Cotton Growers and provide free top quality cotton seeds to growers and purchase cotton from growers at the international price. The Government should also give subsidy to those growers who will increase the yield as well as cultivation area per hectare on yearly basis. This will surely result in much better yield and production. They were of the view that all Government’s authorities and department directly and indirectly involved with the cotton production are equally responsible and the Prime Minister must take notice to evaluate their performance and also restructure the organizations / department if required.
They said that our Value Added Textile Sector is reeling under immense pressure of high costs of doing business, rising utility rates and several other problems. Further, huge number of weaving industries have already closed down and this spiralling prices and unavailability of cotton yarn will crucify our exports of Value Added Textile which will lead to further closures of large number of export oriented units. They demanded the Government to take immediate short as well as medium and long term measures with concrete policy under consultation with value added textile representatives to increase the cotton produce in order to meet the growing demand of the value added textile industry as well as value added textile exports which contribute approx. 54% in total exports, provides highest urban employment particularly to female workforce and earns largest foreign exchange for Pakistan.