MULTAN-All-out resources will be utilised to achieve 21 maund per acre yield to achieve the target of 9.5 million cotton bales in Punjab province, Punjab Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed claimed.

Briefing the media after a meeting of Cotton Crop Management Group here at Central Cotton Research Institute here on Friday, he said that cotton would be sowed over 5.7 million acres of land in Punjab in the current and 9.5 million bales target has been set for the year. He said that Pakistan is the fifth largest cotton producer in the world and this crop constituted 1.5 per cent of total national GDP.

He told the media that a massive crackdown against fake and substandard pesticides, seeds and fertilizers was underway in cotton zone. “We’ve so far registered cases against 48 persons for trading fake pesticides and took into custody substandard/fake pesticides worth over Rs2.2 million,” he added. He further revealed that 267 fertilizer inspectors were issued instruction to ensure elimination of trade of fake pesticides and fertilizers in the province. He said that the agriculture department had evolved a plan for boosting crops under which teams of agricultural officers had so far imparted training to over 0.7 million farmers on new crop technology.

He said that multiple factors like unprecedented rains, intense pest attack and other diseases delivered massive losses to the farmer and government is aware of this situation. The Chief Minister has ordered every step for the welfare of growers,” he declared. He told the journalists that the suggestions made by the farmers were being considered seriously to boost agriculture. He added that small farmers were faced with very tough conditions and the government had adopted practical measures to facilitate them.