ISLAMABAD: Export of agricultural commodities declined during fiscal year 2015-16 when compared with previous year 2014-15. The main reason behind decrease in exports was international financial crunch. Pakistan exported agricultural commodities worth only $4 billion in the previous fiscal year. The major factor was decrease in cotton price, which was reduced to 63.5 cents in 2015-16 and due to the very reason the value of wheat and rice also diminished in international market. During the regime of last government, increase in cotton production was recorded but in the last three years of the current government, there is a tendency of low cotton production. The main reason is that the farmers in the cotton growing areas are leaning towards harvesting sugarcane as the cotton crop is facing different diseases and the government is not giving attention towards it. Last year, the government fixed a target of 1.41 billion cotton bales but it completely failed to achieve the target as the total production remained at 9.1 million bales. Sources said that India’s production of cotton was 9 million bales some five years ago and now it is producing approximately 1.40 billion bales of cotton. When Daily Times asked a cotton grower from Southern Punjab, Furqan Elahi Sheikh, he said costly pesticides were not very much effective. The price of the cotton is not so much high that the farmers may receive back even the cost of the cultivation. “Cotton production in the past was profitable but now the growers are bearing losses and they think it is better for them either to grow some other crop or keep their land free of cultivation,” he said and added that the government should raise cost of cotton so that farmers might get benefit from it.