Seminar On Cotton Held In Bahawalpur

Seminar on cotton held in Bahawalpur

BAHAWALPUR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th May, 2024) Secretary of Agriculture for Southern Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel said that cotton was holding extraordinary importance in our national economy as significant contributor to national GDP and agricultural product manufacturing. This year, the target for cotton cultivation in Punjab is set at 4 million acres, with a production target of 6.5 million bales. Nearly half of the cotton cultivation and production occurs in the Bahawalpur division, he said while addressing a mega cotton seminar organized in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and a private fertilizer company here Thursday. A large number of agriculture officers and farmers attended the seminar.

He stated that all possible resources and means were being utilized to achieve the cotton cultivation and production targets while ensuring the availability of quality agricultural inputs to increase production. He further emphasized that the Department of Agriculture would remain committed to assisting farmers throughout the cotton season, similar to the previous year. Farmers will receive complete guidance on all stages of cotton cultivation, from planting to harvesting, he said.

He also added that the present government had provided a historic package of 400 billion rupees in a short time to address the issues faced by farmers, which would positively impact agriculture. He further stated that farmers would be provided with 300 billion rupees in interest-free agricultural loans through the Kisan Card, enabling them to purchase fertilizers and seeds on time. Under the Transforming Punjab Agriculture Plan, farmers will be provided with modern agricultural machinery and equipment at subsidized rates, he said and added, this plan includes the provision of 3,000 laser land levelers to farmers for 4 billion rupees. As part of the Chief Minister of Punjab's smog control program, 5,000 super seeders and 2,000 rice straw shredders will be provided to farmers at 8 billion rupees, he expressed.

Dr. Anjum Ali Butter, a consultant for the Punjab Agriculture Department, stated in his address that the purpose of today's seminar was to inform farmers about cotton management practices to ensure a profitable crop.

Cotton is more vulnerable to climate change compared to other crops. The effective strategies implemented last year resulted in higher profits for cotton farmers and added billions of Dollars to the national treasury. He further stated that the Agriculture Department was in coordination with the Irrigation Department for better water availability in cotton areas, so that water shortages can be minimized through better management. This year, 2.285 million tons of fertilizers are needed for Kharif. Strict monitoring is being done to ensure the availability of fertilizers at fixed prices.

On this occasion, Director General Pest Warning Punjab Dr. Amer Rasool said that according to the instructions of Secretary Agriculture Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahu, Kisan Sahulat Centers will be set up in the next few days for the convenience of farmers, where farmers will be provided with quality pesticides at controlled rates. The cotton advisory will be issued for better care of cotton. He further said that field teams are going to every farmer and providing them with technical guidance.

Director of Extension Agriculture Muhammad Jamel Ghouri said in his address that cotton was in the final stages of its cultivation. Farmers should complete the cultivation of cotton preferably by May 31. Farmers should pay full attention to their cultivated crops and they must ensure the removal of weeds and use less nitrogen fertilizer at the beginning, he said. He further said that this year, 1.869 million acres of cotton would be cultivated in Bahawalpur Division. He advised delay the initial chemical spraying on cotton for at least 60 days.

Experts at the seminar informed the farmers about the benefits of timely cultivation of cotton, balanced and proportional use of fertilizers, implementation of IPM model, and modern production technology. Experts from a private fertilizer company, Dr. Saeed Iqbal and others, informed the farmers about the balanced and proportional use of fertilizers.