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LAHORE: Cotton was sown over 16 percent more area in the province this year as compared to last season but the recent rains and floods had impacted 6 percent of this crop, hampering the expectation of more production this year.

Punjab Minister for Agriculture Hussain Jahanian Gardezi stated this while presiding over a meeting to review the current situation of cotton crop on Monday. However, he said efforts are being made to achieve the target fixed for the current season.

The minister Agriculture further said that a plan is being prepared for the rehabilitation of flood-affected areas. As the flood waters recede, the farmers can be provided with guidance and support for wheat cultivation in the Rabi season.

On this occasion, the participants were told that after the rains, the cotton crop is bearing abundant fruits again. The months of September and October are very important, if the fruits on the crop are taken care of, the overall yield of cotton will improve.

The Minister gave special instructions to the field teams to deliver the cotton advisory to every farmer and implement it.

He said that if the farmers follow the departmental recommendations, the damage caused by rains can be minimized. He directed the relevant institutions to take steps to ensure the availability of quality cotton seed next year. He said that the biological laboratories are being upgraded for the biological control of harmful insects of the crops.

Earlier, Secretary Agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel informed the minister about the effects of rains and floods on the cotton crop. He expressed the hope to achieve 5.5 million bales against the revised target of 4.88 million bales. The Agriculture secretary South Punjab said that 29% more cotton has been obtained in Punjab province so far, which is mainly due to early cultivation of cotton. He said that 145.64 percent more bales of cotton have been obtained in Multan district.

He further said the cotton crop over 210,000 acres of land has been affected due to the flood, due to which the farmers had to bear a loss of Rs 356,33 million. He further informed that currently the rate of cotton crop is good due to which the farmers are taking interest and are busy in crop care. The field teams are continuing to guide the farmers and they are being asked to continue the process of pest scouting of the crop to control the harmful insects and get better yield per acre.

The minister said that cotton is our export crop which earns a lot of foreign exchange while wheat is an important component of the country’s food security. Guidance should be provided to the farmers on how to cultivate wheat in standing cotton to achieve higher production.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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