Secy for using all means to get cotton cultivation target

By Our Correspondent
May 19, 2024
A worker fills a vacuum pipe with cotton to clean it at a cotton processing unit. — Reuters/File

LAHORE : The target of cotton cultivation is a challenging task, said Secretary Agriculture on Saturday while stressing the need to employ all possible resources and means to achieve cotton set goals for cultivation and production of silver fiber.


Cotton has a key position to drive the national economy, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, provincial Secretary Agriculture said, adding stakeholders should not play a practical role.

APTMA should play a practical role for the recovery of cotton. The future of the private sector, especially the pesticides industry, also depends on the recovery of cotton, he said while chairing a meeting to review cotton sowing position in key belt of South Punjab.

Secretary Agriculture added that digital monitoring of field formations has been started. Strict action will be taken against the officers and staff who failed to achieve cotton cultivation target.

He said that retired field assistants can be hired on 90-day contracts to meet the shortage of staff for cotton cultivation.

The secretary said that links with the Irrigation Department should be strengthened to meet the availability of canal water.

The best professional skills should be used in the guidance of cotton farmers. More guidance should be provided to the farmers regarding the sowing and maintenance of cotton during the current severe heatwave.

The support of the agriculture department to guide the cotton farmers is a very good initiative. The target of cotton cultivation should be completed by May 31. The Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners should be informed timely about the administrative issues faced in cotton cultivation and other production problems. Facilitation centres will be established at the tehsil level to provide standard agricultural inputs at fixed rates.

Speaking at the divisional review meeting on cotton crop, the secretary said that Bahawalpur division played a significant role in cotton economy.

This year, the target of cotton cultivation has been set on an area of 1.869 million acres in Bahawalpur division. Bahawalpur division accounts for nearly 50 percent of the cotton cultivation and production in the province, he said and added Commissioner Bahawalpur has also performed the duties of the Administrative Secretary in the Department of Agriculture.

They are fully aware of the challenges facing the agriculture sector. Their experience should be taken advantage of to solve the problems related to agriculture.

On this occasion, Commissioner Bahawalpur Division, Nadir Chattha, said that the welfare of farmers across the division exceeded expectations.

“I am offering my dedicated services for meeting the target of cotton cultivation in division. Practical measures are being taken to solve the problems faced by the farmers. Instructions have been issued to all the administrative officers of the division to provide the necessary facilities and support to the agriculture department,” he said.

The meetings of the divisional and district advisory committees are being organised regularly. Field formations will be fully supported to provide technical guidance and facilities to cotton farmers at all stages from sowing to picking.

On this occasion, Secretary Agriculture, South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel speaking through a video link, said that Pink Bollworm can prove to be dangerous for cotton which requires strict monitoring and timely remediation.

In the meeting, Additional Secretary Agriculture Task Force Punjab M Shabir Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioner Bahawalpur Zaheer Ahmad Jappa, Director General Agriculture Pest Warning, Punjab Dr Amir Rasool and Director Agricultural Information, Punjab Naveed Asmat Kahloon and other officers participated while Secretary Agriculture, South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel along with Deputy Commissioners of Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan participated through a video link.