ISLAMABAD -Government would be providing Rs400 million subsidy to framers on the import of PB Rope from the current sowing season. The amount is being allocated to enhance per-acre cotton output across the crop sowing areas of the country by minimizing the pest attacks particularly the Pink Boll worm.

“The output of this major crop has witnessing declining trend from last many years due to different reasons including use of conventional methods of cultivation, use of non certified seeds and pest attacks which not only provided financial losses to growers but also discouraged them to sow the crop”, said Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr Khalid Abdullah. While talking to APP here on Friday, he said subsidy for PB Rope imports for about 2,00,000 hectares would be provided to help overcome threats of pest attacks on crop during its fruiting season and save the crop from damage.

He further informed that government in close coordination with private sector had also designed a holistic program to ensure provision of certified cotton seed to farmers in order to achieve maximum per-acre crop output during the season and get more profit. He said training program was initiated from Multan where more than 75 farmers and private sector seed companies’ employees were trained on pest management, crop production technology and seed testing, adding that this step would help to address the seed germination issues which had reduced crop output during last season.

Dr Abdullah said that a group of 30 people each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would also be trained under the training initiatives that would start from March 17-18, adding that it would also help in addressing the seed germination issues that had hampered the output of last year. About the cotton support price for the cotton crop for next season, he said that meeting in this regard has been scheduled to fix the indicative price to encourage the farmers cultivate crop on maximum areas that would also help in national economic development.

Besides, he said that the targets for the cotton cultivation would be fixed in the annual meeting of Federal Committee of Agriculture, scheduled to meet in first week of next month, adding that it would also take stock of the production of crops during current season and fix the target for next season.