LAHORE : An area of 400 acres has been allocated by the government for research and development on sugarcane and develop new drought and salt tolerant sugarcane varieties. A spokesman for the Punjab agriculture department said on Friday that research was being conducted to improve sugar contents and productivity by importing sugarcane fuzz from Mauritius, the West Indies and South Africa. To develop new sugarcane varieties, a five years project at a cost of Rs 27.36 million has been started at AARI, Faisalabad.

, as a joint venture with Shakarganj Sugar Research Institute, Jhang, and Sugarcane Research Institute, Sri Lanka, he added. He said efforts were being made to reduce the yield gap between common and progressive growers in Punjab through development of high yielding sugarcane varieties, adoption of better crop management practices, biological control of insect pests by providing trichogramma and crysoperla cards to farmers.