Raw or Seed Cotton
Pakistan is one of the ancient homes of cotton. The earliest known traces of cotton, Pakistan is the 5th largest producer of cotton and 3rd largest consumer /producer of cotton yarn in the world. About 1.3 million out of 5 million farmers cultivate cotton on an area of 6.0 million acres, covering 15% of cultivated area in the country. Cotton Crop has 0.8% share in GDP and contributes 5.2% in agriculture value addition. Cotton has 51% share in total foreign exchange earnings of the country.
The remarkable growth in cotton production facilitated the emergence of a large and vibrant textile industry with over 1000 ginning factories, 400 textile mills, 7 million spindles, 27000 looms in the mill sector, over 25000 looms in the non-mill sector, 700 knitwear units, 4000 garment units, nearly1000 ginners and 5000 oil expellers making cotton industry the most important sector of the economy of Pakistan.
Besides fiber cotton seed has several other uses as well. The oil from cottonseed can be used for cooking or as part of many industrial products including soap, margarine, cosmetics, emulsifiers, rubbers, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Cottonseed oil is largely composed of unsaturated fats about 70%, and high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin E that contribute to its long shelf life. Cotton has about 70% share in locally produced edible oil in Pakistan. Cotton seed cake is one of the major sources of cattle feed to enhance milk production in Pakistan. Even the stalk of the cotton plant is used as a fuel in rural areas, to develop ethanol in diesel or petrol blends and to improve soil organic matter. Cotton is mainly cultivated in two provinces. The Punjab, being the most conducive for cotton production, produces around 70% of country’s cotton followed by Sindh that contributes 28% of production. Cotton is grown on an area of 4.7 million acre in Punjab annually with a production of 7 million bales and lint yield of 700 kg/ha.
our Major cotton growing districts in Punjab include Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Lodhran, Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, D.G. Khan and Faisalabad. Cotton Research Institute Multan and its allied research stations (CRS Bahawalpur, CRS Faisalabad, CRS Khanpur, CRS Sahiwal and CRS Vehari) working under Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad have developed 59 varieties which have been cultivated on major area in Punjab as well as in Sindh.