“If the situation remains the same regarding non-availability of water and the absence of any resistible variety of cotton against mealy bug and CLCV, the production may be reduced by 10-15 percent. The private sector is involved in smuggling of substandard Bt cotton seeds from India and most of the farmers in Southern Punjab are making use of about 35-50 percent seeds and ultimately the production decreased. Due to increase in prices of sunflower oil in international market, the cotton growers are thinking to switchover from cotton cultivation to sunflower cultivation. For the next fiscal year, the total consumption of cotton across the country is estimated to be 15.1 million bales. So, it is really indicative of the fact that the country will have to import around 1 million bales for 2008-09.Source: Business Recorder