Cotton production
A cotton field (somewhere in the USA presumably). Image Credit/ Wikimedia

Due to declining cotton production in Pakistan, textile exporters are asking the government to allow cotton imports from neighboring India.

Ijaz Khokhar, the chief coordinator of the Federation of Apparel Manufacturers and Exporters in Pakistan, said that they had contacted the Prime Minister’s adviser for trade and investment Abdul Razak Dawood in this regard.

“We asked him (Dawood) to allow the import of cotton for at least a short period of time such as four to six months, as this will allow us to deliver our export orders without delay,” he said. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s aide had “agreed to investigate the matter.”

Ijaz Khokhar also told that local exporters cannot use Chinese cotton due to the US restriction.

Earlier, Dawood said people in the industry were pushing for changes in fees and taxes in the textile sector. However, he ruled out any changes in tariffs and cotton imports from India to bridge the deficit. He expected the country to have a better cotton crop next year.

Cotton production in the country had been dropping consistently since 2017-18 when it reached 11.9 million bales.

Following 2017-18, cotton production in 2018-19 decreased by 17.5 percent to 9.8 million bales, revealed the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). They also said that in 2019-20, cotton production decreased further by 6.9%, to 9.18 million bales.

Meanwhile, the cotton yield has also declined consistently since 2017-18, when it reached 753 (kg/hectare). After that, yield decreased by 6.1 percent to 707 (kg/hectare) in 2018-19 and further decreased by 12.6 percent to 618 (kg/hectare).

It is also appropriate to mention that productivity reached 802 (kg/hectare) in 2014-15.

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