Monsoon spell: no fear of damage to Kharif crops in Punjab

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There is no fear of damage to the major Kharif crops like sugarcane, cotton and rice from the recent monsoon spell, as the Punjab Disaster Management Authority, in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority, has completed the inspection of all of water reservoirs in the province to avert loss in case of floods.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Friday, We are not afraid of rainy spell in Punjab because it is not detrimental to the major crops . They said that the thundershower with isolated heavy rainfall is expected in Punjab and it is true that it may lead to a low level flood in the province but precautionary measures have been put in place by the provincial government.

They said that the next consignment carrying 50,000 tons of urea would reach Gwadar port on July 30. That would help in bringing the fertiliser prices down in the domestic market, which have reached a new record in terms of hike and being sold at Rs 1800-1900 per 50kg.

Sources said, The support prices of the crops would be announced by the Agriculture Prices Institute (API), which has now been shifted to the Planning Commission, after devolution . They said that a meeting of the Provincial Cost of the Production Committee was called by the Punjab government on April 7, 2011 to send the recommendations regarding the cotton intervention/ support price. The cost of production of cotton seed in Punjab during the year 2011-12 was also discussed.

 The Committee recommended the cotton support price for the current fiscal year to be Rs 2811 per maund and this recommendation has been sent to the API for final approval , sources added. They said that seed-cotton is being sold at Rs 2000 per 40 kg in domestic market these days. That is not justifiable as the same crop was being sold at Rs 4000/40kg last year while the cost of production of the crop has increased by 70 percent as compared to last year.

Cotton production is becoming expensive because of high water consumption, use of expensive pesticides, insecticides and fertiliser, most of which are imported. The country is expecting 15-16 million cotton bales this year which clearly means that 2. 4 million bales from India would not be required to be imported, which would save Rs 3. 5-4 billion while by exporting one million bales, the country can earn Rs 2 billion in 2011-12. Sources said that Pakistan may add Rs 2 billion to the national exchequer by exporting one million cotton bales in 2011-12 due to the expected bumber crop.



Courtesy: Business Recorder

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