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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Govt sets targets for BT cotton cultivation area this season

Punjab government is assuring that this season the cotton farmers are provided certified pest resistant BT cotton seeds and keep an eye on seed companies providing spurious seeds.

This was disclosed at a meeting convened by the Cotton Crop Management and Monitoring Committee 2024, at the Deputy Commissioner Office Lodhran to formulate strategies for maximizing cotton cultivation, enhancing production, and educating farmers on modern agricultural practices.

At the meeting presided over by Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue Syeda Amina Maududi the Punjab government unveiled plans to cultivate cotton across 272,640 acres. A leading farmer present at the meeting informed participants that there are over 700 seed companies operate in Pakistan but only three to four have proper cotton seed breeding programmes.

Addressing the assembly, Acting Deputy Commissioner Maududi emphasised the pivotal role of cotton as a cash crop, asserting it as a national duty to cultivate it extensively. She stressed the importance of field officers from the Department of Agriculture Extension providing hands-on guidance to farmers, landowners, and staff to improve cotton cultivation and yield.

Furthermore, Maududi advocated for comprehensive training programmes for farmers, focusing on field preparation, proper seed selection, timely fertiliser application, and water management. She underscored the significance of raising awareness about pesticide usage to safeguard crops against harmful insects.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Extension, Muhammad Shafiq, outlined the government’s targets, with 61,580 acres earmarked for BT cotton and 211,060 acres for seasonal cotton cultivation. He highlighted the active engagement of field staff in promoting cotton cultivation, providing essential information on modern agricultural techniques and resources.

The meeting concluded with cotton farmers and landlords offering recommendations for ensuring timely water supply, addressing fertiliser shortages, and setting appropriate cotton prices, underscoring a collective effort towards achieving better cotton production in Lodhran district.

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