Punjab Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed while chairing a meeting on Friday to review cotton sowing, directed his department to launch a forceful ‘Cotton Grow Campaign’ in the province so as to speed-up the sowing of the crop from 15 May. He said, the department has set-up a target to bring six million acres land under cotton cultivation in 2016-17 with a production target of 10.05 million bales and “The department should ensure cotton seed, required fertiliser and pesticides in abundance in the market at all costs.”
Farrukh Javed said, cotton was the backbone of our agricultural economy which not only earn precious foreign exchange but also creates job opportunities on a large scale in rural areas. “The department should provide full know-how to growers from sowing to picking”, he added. The meeting was informed that several arrangements have been made keeping in view the damage caused to the cotton crop last season due to climate change.
Farrukh Javed also stressed the need for saving the cotton crop from pests. He also stressed the need for using cotton seed approved by the Punjab Seed Corporation (PSC) which has better resistance against pest attacks. He claimed new cotton varieties including both BT and non-BT had been introduced which use less water and better resist heat diseases, and this would ensure per acre increase in cotton yield for growers. Farrukh Javed advised an extension of the Punjab Agriculture Department and advised field staff to visit fields to extend know how to the growers.