Pakistan’s cotton production is estimated to fall 25 per cent short of its target of 14.37 mn bales to 10.847 mn bales in this season due to water shortage and attacks by cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV) and other pests, say official statistics. According to an estimate, a million bales have an impact of 0.5 percentage points on the gross domestic product (GDP).

Production in Punjab is estimated to be 8.077 mn bales against targeted 10 mn, while Sindh’s output is feared to be 2.60 mn bales against a target of 4.20 mn bales. White fly, jassid, thrips, mealy bug and CLCV have attacked crop in many districts of Punjab, the biggest cotton producer, according toa report. Incidences of CLCV were reported at 29.28 per cent of the areas this year as against 21 per cent a year ago. The assault of whitefly is also on the rise compared to last year.

Below-normal rainfalls and low river flows resulted in severe water shortage in cotton-growing areas of the Sindh province. Cotton cultivation in the province reduced 31 per cent compared to the corresponding period of the last year, primarily due to water shortage. Cotton yield in Punjab is expected to be around 21 bales per acre this season.