‘Punjab Government Will Use All Resources To Achieve Cotton Production Target’
“Punjab government will use all available resources to achieve the cotton production target of 9.5 million bales and field staff of the Agriculture department will play role in guiding farmers about production technology of cotton,” Hussain Sardar, Punjab Agriculture Additional Secretary said.
In his briefing at a meeting of a cotton crop management group on Thursday at Central Cotton Research Institute in Multan, Agriculture (Extension) Director General Anjum Ali claimed 822,799 farmers from 34,121 villages had received training in latest cotton production technology since the start of the cotton season. He said, “As per initial estimates, cotton has been sown on 84 percent of the target area this year which is 14 percent less than the previous year and 16 percent lower than the target of this season.”
Then his Pest Warning counterpart Chaudhry Khalid Mahmood talked about his department having confiscated fake pesticides worth Rs 3.5 million and registered 59 First Information Reports. Research Director General Abid Mahmood said new varieties compatible to climate change were being researched. Later, in briefing to the media, Additional Secretary Sardar said a cotton seed reform project was being launched this year to save cotton from the prevailing crisis and up to Rs 3 billion had been set aside while the government had also approved to set up a “Punjab Agricultural Commission” in the province.
He also talked about latest machinery being provided to the farmers with an allocation of Rs 1.80 billion. “Under this project, service centres will be set up in the province where tractors, laser land levellers, harvesters, bulldozers and other heavy machinery will be available too,” he added. The meeting was also attended by former Speaker National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam, Agriculture University Vice Chancellor Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Professor Doctor Asif Ali and representatives of farmers, the Pakistan Cotton Ginning Association and pesticides and fertiliser companies.