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LAHORE: The Punjab Water Council (PWC) has alleged that the provincial agriculture department has failed to achieve the cotton sowing target while a shortage of water may also leave a negative impact on the area under the crop thus leading to difficulties in achieving the production target.

“The Punjab Agriculture Department had fixed the target of cotton sowing over 5 million acres of land this year and in a recent briefing claimed that over 95 per cent of the target had been achieved. However, I think that they had reached only around 4 million acres of land. In comparison, last year the same crop had been sown over 3 million acres of land,” said the founder of the Punjab Water Council Farooq Bajwa while talking to Business Recorder on Saturday.

He said that water was not provided to growers in proper quantity in the month of May which was the month of sowing of cotton. He said the whole provincial machinery including agriculture and irrigation departments tried to achieve the target but a shortage of water hindered the way.

Farooq Bajwa, who is also chairman of the Basmati Growers Association, said that he himself had reduced his sowing of cotton this season as it was not viable due to a shortage of water.

He also challenged the claim of the department of achieving 96 per cent of the target and alleged that they had no method to measure the cultivation. He said earlier Patwaris visited the field under the canal system and assessed the cultivation.

He demanded that the government must take immediate measures to provide water to the growers if it really wanted to reach the production target. He said that the government should also ensure that fertilizer and pesticides should reach the growers in time and in the required quantity to have a good cotton crop.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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