Pakistan is unlikely to achieve the targets for major Kharif crops as a result of countrywide floods which have caused serious damage to standing crops especially in Punjab and Sindh. An official source of Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) while talking to Business Recordersaid that recent rains and floods have adversely affected Kharif crops including cotton sown on 7.31 million acres, sugarcane sown on three million acres and paddy sown on seven million acres.
Presently cotton crop is at boll formation stage, sugarcane at maturity stage while rice crop is at flowering stage. “Sugarcane is water loving crop but presence of huge quantity of water for long duration proves dangerous for the crop”, source added.
Dr Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, Ministry of Textile and Industry said that devastating floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains will have a negative impact on overall production of the commodity as heavy rains invariably lead to different diseases to standing crops and presence of large quantity of water does not suit the cotton crop as the crop is water sensitive. Dr Muhammad Anjum, Director General (DG) of Agriculture Extension Punjab when contacted said that the recent rains and floods have destroyed standing crops in Multan, Mianwali, Bhakkar,Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan regions.
“Rains and floods have ravaged over 25000 acres of standing crops in Punjab,” he said.
An official of Crop Reporting Sindh said that recent rains and floods have damaged standing crops in districts Khairpur, Ghotki,Sukkur, Naushero Feroze, Nabwabshah, Shikapur, Kashmor, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Matiari and Tando Muhammad Khan. The rains and floods destroyed standing crops in an area of over 200,000 acres, he mentioned. Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal said that the recent rains and floods have badly damaged cotton, sugarcane and rice crops in Punjab and Sindh with an estimated worth of Rs 20 billion.
Haleem-ul-Hassan, Deputy Director Pakistan Metrological department said that mainly hot and humid weather is expected in most parts of the country during the next two days. However rains are expected in isolated places in Hazara, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala divisions, Islamabad, Kashmir.
He said that a new weather system will enter the country from August 20, due due to which upper parts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir would receive heavy rains for three days. The department will issue a weather advisory on Wednesday (today) after complete assessment of the weather system, he said.