KARACHI -- President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan has said that keeping in view the projections of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other independent estimates, Pakistan's cotton production was likely to descend further by around 19 percent to somewhere close to 8 million cotton bales during FY20 which would terribly affect the exports of textile sector as cotton is a major raw material for this important sector.
In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that cotton production stood at 11.946 million bales in FY2018, which declined by 17.5 percent to 9.861 in FY2019 and with a further decline of approximately 19 percent being forecasted for FY20, the cotton shortages would terribly affect the performance of textile sector which will also depict in the export figures as this sector is the mainstay of Pakistan's overall exports.
He was of the opinion that low production of cotton would mean heavy imports of around 6 million bales, putting burden on foreign exchange reserves to the tune of $1.5 billion. Hence, the government will have to look into the causes of low cotton production and accordingly devise practical and effective strategies, besides adopting latest scientific techniques being used globally, to ensure enhanced cotton production, he stressed.
'We are already struggling hard to deal with the ongoing economic crises and can neither afford further burden on foreign exchange reserves due to cotton imports nor depressed performance of the textile sector. The lawmakers will have to take notice of the deteriorating performance of the agriculture sector as Pakistan's economy is based on the agriculture sector otherwise, the economy would remain under pressure', he added.
Referring to recent locust attacks on the agricultural land in Sindh, President KCCI mentioned that in October, the...