The government has announced that it will provide Rs 400 million in subsidy to farmers so they can import PB rope during the current sowing season. The announcement was made by Cotton Commissioner Khalid Abdullah in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
The subsidy aims to increase per-acre cotton yield by minimising pest attacks, especially pink bollworm.
PB rope is a thin tube of about 6 inches of fibre in which an aromatic substance is kept in a fine tube in the form of chemicals. These ropes are planted in a block of at least 25 acres, 150-100 ropes per acre. In the block of PB ropes, the aroma of the substance spreads and the male cannot find the female. The number of pink bollworms thus does not increase and the crop is protected from the attack of pink bollworm for at least 90 days.
A holistic public-private programme has been designed to ensure the provision of certified cotton seeds to farmers so that per-acre cotton output is increased, said the cotton commissioner.
A training programme was initiated in Multan, where more than 75 farmers and employees of private seed companies were trained on pest management, crop production technology and seed testing. This step would help address seed germination issues that had reduced crop output during the last season, he said.
Thirty people each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also be trained. The training initiative is set to start in the third week of March.
He added that the targets for cotton cultivation will be fixed in the annual meeting of the Federal Committee of Agriculture, scheduled to meet in first week of April.