LCCI urges government to declare emergency for cotton production: LCCI
By Attaul Mujeeb Zeeshan
According to the sources of Daily Notable, The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to declare cotton emergency in agriculture sector as historic fall in cotton production has started affecting the economic chain.
In a statement, the LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that catastrophe-like situation in cotton production has severely impacted the textile, directly or indirectly associated other industries, ginners and growers.
During a meeting, LCCI Executive Committee Member Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi briefed the LCCI office-bearers about the ongoing cotton situation.
They said that the textile is the largest export-oriented sector that is contributing around 60% to the total exports of the country. They said that textile industry has left with no other option but to import cotton that is its primary raw material.
The cotton production in the country has witnessed a consistent decline since 2017-18 when it reached 11.9 million bales. Following on from 2017-18, the cotton production in 2018-19 declined by 17.5% to 9.8 million bales. They said that in 2019-20, the cotton production further declined by 6.9 percent to 9.18 million bales.
It is worth mentioning that in recent times, the cotton production touched a peak of 13.96 million bales in 2014-15.
“The yield of cotton has also declined consistently since 2017-18 when it reached 753 (kg/hectare). After that, the yield declined by 6.1% to 707(kg/hectare) in 2018-19 and further declined by 12.6% to 618(kg/hectare). It is pertinent to mention that the yield reached 802(kg/hectare) in 2014-15”, they added.
They said that the steep decline in cotton production and yield has been having an adverse impact on the Textile Exports of Pakistan which declined from 13.58 Billion Dollars in 2018-19 to 12.78 Billion Dollars in 2019-20. Even in the first six months of current fiscal year (July-Dec 2020), the textile exports stood at 6.62 Billion Dollars as compared to 6.82 Billion Dollars in (July-Dec 2019).
The cotton import bill has also escalated in recent times due to decline in cotton production. They said that the imports of raw cotton went up from 1.18 Billion Dollars in 2018-19 to 1.34 Billion Dollars in 2019-20.
Since cotton is an important cash crop of the country which contributes 0.8% to GDP and 4.1% to the total value addition in agriculture sector, urgent steps need to be taken to address the issues of low water availability and pest attacks which are hampering cotton production, yield and ultimately hampering our textile exports.
They said that price of manufactured goods of textile industry has resulted in a rise due to high cost of import. It means the largest export-oriented sector is facing more critical situation in the international market.
They urged the government to take measures on war footing basis to control the situation as entire economy would be dwindling if cotton production slips further. They suggested the government to get assistance from China if required.