PAKISTAN: Celebrating the World Cotton Day 2020
For celebrating the World Cotton Day 2020, Pakistan’s cotton research body, ginning & textile industry, seed and pesticide association, academia and farmers’ association celebrated the event in a befitting manner commemorating the importance of cotton crop for the economy. Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) took the lead, involving all of its research units across the country, by organizing gatherings highlighting the importance of cotton crop for all stakeholders.
Though cotton is currently facing turmoil during the current decade due to various climatic and other issues. However, cotton is still considered a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy. Human association with cotton dates back to the beginning of human civilization and cotton accompanies him until the way to his final destination. Cotton provides fiber, food, feed, and firewood, and is a source of employment to millions of people, associated with its value chain in one way or another. Cotton is globally vital for developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. Although man-made fiber is substituting cotton to a great extent, its extremely slow degradability in the environment and recent experience during pandemic COVID-19 gave a message to mankind– “Back to Nature,” which will surge cotton demand globally.
Pakistan enjoys 5th position in global cotton production after Brazil, India, China, and USA. It has 3rd position in consumption and 2nd position in yarn production in the world. Cotton is an economic engine of Pakistan’s economy, and also a major determinant of livelihood of about 50% rural inhabitants of Pakistan. The production entails more than 55% of foreign exchange earnings and serves as food security and political stability in the country. Therefore, any shortfall in the production put negative impact on employment, growth, industry and exports. As a global phenomenon, the country is in the grip of climate change for a decade or so. Cotton production has been significantly affected due to climatic atrocities since 2010 in shape of torrential rains leading to heavy floods, which pose substantial loss to crops, livestock, humans as well as the houses and other infrastructures.
Cotton is the major source of raw material for related industries comprising of about 460 textile mills and 1240 ginning factories. However, national per acre yield is much below than main cotton growing countries of the world. In Pakistan, around 1.3 million farmers (out of a total of 5 million farmers) cultivated cotton on 2.475 million hectares, covering 12.4% of cultivable area in the country and produced 8.571 million bales of lint cotton (Table 1).