PAKISTAN: Pak agri sector suffers Rs 244 billion damage

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan’s agriculture sector suffered a loss of around Pak Rs 244 billion due to the devastating floods that hit the country since August.

According to country’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, small farmers were hit hard by the floods as their losses were calculated at Pak Rs 98 billion.

The ministry has said that maximum damage by the floods has been made to the minor crops of Kharif season, which includes jawar, maize, moong and mash pulses and some citrus fruit varieties.

Most of the small farmers have lost considerable number of livestock too as they had limited facility for their animals.

Among the major cash crops the ministry’s report highlighted that the largest loss of Rs 71.4 billion has been faced by the cotton crop.

Cotton was sown over 3.1 hectares in the current Kharif season out of which the floods have destroyed crops at 0.51 million hectares, as a result the production is expected to decline by almost 15 percent to 11.7 million bales as against the targeted cotton production of 14 million bales in 2010.

The Ministry said the country will face serious cotton shortage in coming days as more than 15 percent of the crop has already been hit by the floods with two million bales have been destroyed in the floods in Punjab alone

The cotton crop has been seriously damaged in Bakkhar, Layyah and Mianwali districts apart from many other areas in southern districts of Punjab, while the left bank of River Indus in Sindh is the cotton belt and the cotton crops have suffered in Sukkur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Naushero Feroze and Benazirabad districts.

The paddy crops in the country have faced a loss of Rs 56.3 billion and the worst hit areas are right bank districts of Sindh.

The countrywide paddy production is expected to decline by around 27 percent to 4.35 million tonnes as against the original estimated production of 5.95 million tonnes.

Among the major crops, sugarcane farmers have suffered a loss of Rs 19.3 billion and its production is expected to decline to 47.23 million tonnes as against the estimated production of 54.83 million tonnes.

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) said initial reports suggest that the sugar cane crops in Charsadda, DI Khan and some parts of Southern Punjab have suffered damages.

4 million tonnes of sugar production was expected in the coming season but now 3.8 million tonnes is likely to be obtained.

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Added: August 25, 2010 Source: Commodity Online
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