STAFF REPORT MULTAN: Unexpected rains in May have destroyed the cultivated cotton besides reducing the wheat procurement target by 30 per cent.

Experts say that climatic changes and discouraging agriculture policies are the reasons behind reduction in the wheat procurement and decline in cotton sowing by 1.7 million acres in southern Punjab.

They said that growers are reluctant to go for re-sowing due to high expenditures and poor output. “The heavy rainfall is not only the factor in agriculture decline in Punjab but policy-makers and the government have little knowledge about agriculture which is a key reason behind the failure,” Pakistan Agri Forum Chairman Ibrahim Mughal told the media.

The cotton sowing, he said, had witnessed the decline of 1.7 million acres of the fixed target in Punjab and Sindh provinces due to last years discouraging low prices of cotton.

“The sowing target had been fixed at 8 million acres in Punjab and Sindh for the season 2014-15, but it has been cultivated over less than 6.3 acres, showing a reduction in 1.7 million acres,” they maintained.

The country had produced 14.7 million bales with 375kg each few years back. It is hard to regain the target of 14.7 million bales because of government policies and reduction in the size of bale from 375kg to 350kg.

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