Optimistic target

PAKISTAN'S cotton crop will reach the target of 960 million kg despite the locust threat and reports of a virus attack, according to the country's central cotton committee.

The final output, however, will depend on the extent to which Pakistan is able to mitigate the damage from the locust attack. Though at least 47,000 bands of locusts had been eliminated by the middle of September by spraying insecticides over a 12,000 sq km area, at least 50,000 sq km remained as a breeding ground for the pests.