Pakistan holding the fourth position among the cotton growers of world, the other three position occupied by the China, India and United States. According to export of raw cotton, Pakistan having 3rd position and 4th in consumption. Cotton play very important role in the economic development of the country because it largely dependent on the cotton related textile sector. The 15% of country grows cotton as an industrial crop during the months of May to August and that period monsoon and also known as Kharif period. And in the month of February and April, cotton grown at smaller scale in the country.
Record production of cotton in 2014-15 was reported at fifteen million bales of four seventy pounds (210 kg) separately in the form of seed cotton. And that was the 11% rise in the production compared to previous season 2013-14.
Lower Yield per Hectare:
The lower yield of cotton per hector is the major issue in cotton growing countries such as China, Australia, Turkey and Greece. It also includes Pakistan, because the average yield of a country almost stagnant. The reason behind this problem is the absence of virus-resistant varieties, a change in weather like rainfall more than average, and emergence of new insect pest in cotton field. Although adoption of scientific cultivation method is limited, this also reason of lower yield.
BT Cotton Varieties:
Cotton growers in Pakistan have been continuously demanding the approved varieties BT cotton for improving their yield. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture respond, that they have been working on a two-pronged strategy. The first one is developing through indigenous capabilities and the second on is inviting multi-national companies to bring the technology.
Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV):
When we look at the past in the mid-1990s, the cotton leaf curl virus disease seriously damaged the cotton crop in Pakistan. In 1991-92, it had attained a peak cotton production of 12.8 million bales. Somehow, researchers managed to control the disease by making CLCV-tolerant varieties and improved management strategies, and then provided to the cotton growers. In the critical period of cotton production, it was sustained at an average of 10 million bales. In 2004-05, the production was recorded 14.3 billion bales. CLCV threat still exists and Central Cotton Research Institute in Multan still working on it.
Research on Mealy Bug Control
The new insect, which is commonly known as mealy bug. It is the one of major issue in cotton crop, the insect was first detected in 2005 in Pakistan. It has been observed as one of the major reasons of declining cotton production since 2007.
Thirteen species of predators and a recently discovered parasitoid have also been recorded against cotton mealy bug.
The parasitoid (now identified as Aenasius sp. Nov. nr. Longiscapus Compere) attacks dispersed individuals as well as large colonies of the mealy bug and kills the host before reaching to maturity.
Many pesticides are also recommended to control mealy bug in cotton crop.
Quality of Cotton:
Another problem is quality of cotton, there has been increasing importance on quality control and the production of contamination-free cotton from crop.This will allow the textile industry to increase the marketing base for Pakistani products and understand their intrinsic worth in the international market. The government has already taken several actions to present and implement a cotton standardization and grading system in the country, as well as dealings to overcome cotton contamination.