FAISALABAD: “Agriculture scientists should launch a campaign to educate growers about best practices in cotton cultivation. Some farmers avoid the crop due to environmental changes,” Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) Director General Abid Mehmood said on Monday.
He was chairing a meeting to review the annual cotton research programme 2016-17.
Abid said that environmental changes had badly affected various crops besides resulting in the mushroom growth of weeds. He said a comprehensive strategy was needed to educate farmers about the use of modern technology and techniques to deal with the situation.He urged agriculture scientists to develop new cotton varieties that should be disease resistant. They should work on developing crops that had higher yields.
Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB) Chief Executive Noorul Islam said that the provincial government had allocated sufficient funds for developing new cotton varieties. “The scientists should concentrate on developing long-staple, high-quality cotton varieties which can help increase national exports.”
AARI Cotton Director Sagheer Ahmad said that AARI scientists had developed some varieties which were giving 45 maund per acre. “Now we are working on introducing drought, disease and high temperature resistant cotton varieties in addition to tackling the issue of cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV),” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.