Pakistan. Major Kharif crops: current monsoon rains will have positive impact


The current monsoon rains would have a positive impact over the standing major Kharif crops including rice, sugarcane, cotton and other minor crops cultivated over large areas of the country. According to senior officials of the Ministry of Food National Security and Research (MNS&R) and Ministry of Textiles, production of major Kharif crops including rice and sugarcane may increase as these crops require more water relative to other crops.

Recent rains would also have a positive impact on cotton crop but excessive monsoon rains may have a negative impact, they added. Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of Textiles Khalid Abdullah said that recent rains would be beneficial for cotton crop but it will have negative impact on the crop's production if rains are sustained for a long period as heavy rains or above normal rainfall causes various diseases in cotton crop.

He further pointed out that large standing water in cotton crop for more than 24 hours is not good for crop as cotton is water sensitive and stagnant water is fatal for the crop. Cotton sowing in the country registered a significant decline of 15 percent in 2016-17 as compared to last year, he said, adding the crop has been cultivated on 2.86 million hectares of land in the country against its proposed target of 2.9 million hectares for 2016-2017.

In Punjab, he added that cotton has been cultivated on 1.776 million hectares of land while in Sindh province, it has been cultivated on 0.063 million hectares of land. The country witnessed 30 percent decline in cotton production in year 2015-16 due to abnormal weather, seed quality, pests, diseases and low prices. Cotton is growing mostly in two provinces of the country (Punjab and Sindh) with the former accounting for 79 percent and the latter 20 percent of the nation's cotton growing area.

A senior official of MNSF&R said that the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) had fixed sugarcane crop production target for 2016-17 at 67.5 million tons from an area of 1.13 million hectares, compared to last year's production of 65.1 million tons from an area of 1.1 million hectares. The committee fixed rice production target for 2016-17 at 6.9 million tons from an area of 2.8 million hectares, he said. According to weather advisory issued by Pakistan Metrological Department farmers accessing water through tube wells are required to schedule irrigation water according to the expected weather system.

It further advised farmers to control weed growth at the present growing stage to stop any negative impact on crops. Pest and viral attacks are expected on cotton and sugarcane crops during hot and humid conditions. Farmers are also advised to be very careful and take precautionary measures on time in this regard, it said. The advisory said that standing water due to heavy monsoon rains is not good for crops like cotton and farmers should take suitable measures to resolve the issue, it said.



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