Threats and Challenges for Sustainable Cotton Production in Sindh, Pakistan: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation to Combat Climate Change

Himatullah ., Asad Imran, Toheed Ghani Mahesar, Muhammad Sohaib, Muhammad Habib-ur- Rahman


Current cotton production systems are most vulnerable to climate extremes in the world but particularly in Sindh, Pakistan. There is a drier need to assess the climate vulnerability and develop climate-resilient production technologies and adaptation plan to combat the climate extremes. A study was conducted in three districts of Sindh province (Ghotki, Sukkur, and Khairpur). Both primary and secondary data of cotton growers (small, medium and large land holding) and different relevant departments of cotton was collected. Three data collection tools were used in this study. Primary data was collected directly from farmers by conducting Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) by engaging local cotton growers. Key informant interviews (KIIs) guide was used for the consultation with officials in government and other cotton related departments. Survey of cotton growers/farmers were conducted in these three districts by selecting farmers randomly. HCPL has conducted 13 FGDs with the beneficiary’s farmers (men and women). Out of the total, seven FGDs were conducted with male farmers and six FGDs were held with female farmers in three studied districts. In each FGDs 10 to 12 farmers participated actively in the discussion and data collection. In total 130 farmers consulted through FGDs in the studied region. Results showed that, the current cotton production system is vulnerable to climate change and climate resilient site-specific production technologies are required by adopting good management practices. Due to competing crops and unavailability of resources, cotton crop area has been shifted to other crops like sugarcane, so climate adaptation plan is required to reduce the cost of production. Increasing area under sugarcane crop also has negative effect on cotton crop due to high humid climatic conditions and leads to more insect pest infestation. Currently, cotton is being sown after wheat during the month of May, while sub optimum and substandard input like seed, fertilizer, and management practices being used. Farmers are also lacking in climate knowledge, and while there is no weather agro-advisory system available for farmers related to climate extremes conditions (drought, heat, and floods). Financial incentive system is also required for cotton crop just like other crops in the region. Good quality seed and input at lower rates are unavailable in this region. There is knowledge gap existed and farmer’s field school are required to develop the capacity building of the farmers to adopt climate resilient production technology. Cotton crop is sensitive to weather while climate forecast is also missing at gross root level, there is need to strength the system to deliver the information to the cotton growers to manage the cotton accordingly. There also need to strength the coordination and productive linkages with research institutes and academia that are working for the production enhancement of cotton crop. Climate resilient production technology transfer is also required to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. There is need to strengthen the marketing system of cotton for effective functioning of the key cotton value chain actors.


Heat; Drought; Weather forecast; NDVI; Climate resilient cotton production; FDGs; Farmer’s perception; Adaptation and mitigation

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Copyright (c) 2022 Habib ur Rahman

Journal of Plant and Environment
ISSN: 2710-1665 (Online), 2710-1657 (Print)
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