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‘Cotton crop to be cultivated on 6 million acres’

By Our Correspondent
April 05, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood has said cotton growing has been started throughout Punjab and department is striving hard to achieve target of cotton sowing on an area of 6 million acres.

Speaking at a meeting Wednesday, he said cotton growers are advised to sow cotton seed of approved varieties and agriculture department has announced approved varieties for cotton cultivation. He further said due to hard work of department and government initiatives, cotton production increased up to 14% during financial year 2017-18 as compared to 2015-16.

He further said the department is acting on zero tolerance policy towards adulterated pesticides and fake fertilizer sales. In this connection, pesticide inspectors till March 15 made 121 raids and registered 121 FIRs while confiscating more than Rs30 million worth adulterated pesticides.

He was of the view that cotton bumper crop during this financial year is Punjab government’s top priority because whole economy depends on its high yield.

He disclosed that provincial government is also devising “2025 Cotton Mission plan”. For immediate relief of cotton growers, the government is providing approved varieties of cotton seed up to 50% subsidised rate and also providing subsidy voucher @Rs700 per cotton bag to core area of cotton growers. More than Rs14 million is being spent for provision of agricultural machinery to cotton growers.

To save cotton crop against pink bollworm attack, Rs96.2 million was spent on ‘PB Ropes’ that were installed in 50 districts of Punjab on 50 acres blocks. Punjab government also provided 110,000 smartphones to the farmers equipped with special applications through which extension services are being provided to cotton growers and for other crops. For cotton high yield seed production, Rs350.889 million is being spent on “Commissioned Research Programme”. For white fly control, the government is spending Rs39.612 million for providing genetic modified varieties of cotton crop. In a nutshell, the Punjab government is taking many steps for boosting cotton production and saving textile industry.