The sowing of cotton has registered a significant increase this year in South Punjab compared to last year due to the incentives of the Punjab government, said an official of the Punjab Agriculture Department. Talking to APP, he said it was heartening to note that the farmers were taking a keen interest in sowing cotton this year compared to last year. “Reports of cotton crop sowing were pouring in from the Southern Punjab, right from the first week of April, which were according to the expectation of the government, the official said. Mahar Mahboob, a farmer from Layyah, told APP that he has preferred to sow cotton in fields this year rather than other crops adding that the present government was taking initiatives for the farmers.
Replying to a question, he said that cotton was a cash crop as the government was giving different initiatives to the farmers. He said that farmers were taking more interest in sowing the cotton than last years in southern Punjab. Punjab is to sow the crop on 1.6m hectares of land to produce 6.07m bales. The agriculture department has issued a schedule for sowing of registered cotton varieties and advised the growers to complete sowing of registered Bt cotton varieties between April 1 and May 31.
The Bt cotton varieties recommended by the department include IUB-13, MNH-886, BS-15, Niab-878, and FH-142. Growers have been asked to consult local experts if they plan to sow other registered Bt cotton varieties keeping in view the environment of their district to get better production. It may be recalled here that cotton, a major cash crop and industrial raw material for the textile sector, was on a downwards trajectory due to various issues, but thanks to the present regime, which has realized and was making all efforts not only to facilitate the farmers but also achieve better yields.