MULTAN: Punjab Agriculture Minister Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Bhabha has said that the provincial government is making all out efforts to enhance cotton crop production.
He said the efforts had helped increase cotton cultivation by 19% as compared to the last year. He expressed these views in a meeting of the Cotton Crop Management Group held at Tehsil Jalalpur, Pirwala.
Curious case of Pakistan's falling cotton production
He said the government was committed to making South Punjab the cotton valley. “Different uplift schemes have been initiated for improvement in agriculture sector,” he added.
The minister urged all stakeholders to play their role for enhancing cotton production.
Additional Secretary Planning Dr Ghazanfar Ali Khan informed the meeting that short, medium and long-term policies were being introduced to promote cotton cultivation.
Agriculture Director General Dr Zafar hoped that a bumper cotton crop was likely this year as the field staff was collaborating with farmers for the purpose.
Ex-speaker National Assembly Fakhar Imam said on the occasion that the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) should purchase cotton as it would help offer good price to farmers. “Similarly, the government should offer premium to the farmers on clean picking of cotton,” he maintained.
He pointed out that the government should also focus on quality of the crop.
Punjab introduces cotton crop monitoring system
Over the years, cotton growers have had to contend with their fair share of insect pests ranging from the deadly bollworm, plant and stink bugs, thrips and spider mites to milder threats. It is no surprise then that insect pest management is the highest variable cost associated with production of this crop.
Earlier in September, agriculture officials said the cotton crop entered a critical stage in South Punjab as a number of sucking and chewing pests attacked the crop.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2017.
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