Pakistan is witnessing an alarming reduction in cotton production as 5,037,000 bales have arrived at the ginning mills till December 15 which is 36 percent less than the corresponding period in the last year . A province-wise look at the production of cotton – which is the main cash crop of the country – shows there is a 39 percent decrease in Sindh and 33 in Punjab. Meanwhile, the textile mills have reduced the buying of cotton from the domestic market by 36 percent. Talking about the reason, Ihsan-ul-Haq – who is the chairman of the Cotton Ginners Forum – said increased cultivation of sugarcane in the cotton zones, a severe attack of whiteflies and adverse weather were the root causes behind the trend. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone as Pakistan missed last year the target of producing 15 million bales of cotton by seven million bales, as farmers are shying away from this crop which has been one of the commodities that made the country famous around the globe. Experts say not obtaining a good per acre yield is the basic reason behind this with the research institutes doing nothing on subjects like pest control, fertilizers and seeds. India is now the world’s largest cotton producer followed by China, the US and Brazil with Pakistan ranked fifth.