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LAHORE: Punjab aims to achieve a target of cotton cultivation on 6m acres and estimates production of 10m bales with over 21 maund yield per acre.

Under a newly devised strategy, there is a plan to increase the acreage for cotton sowing by 1.5m acres as compared to the last year with various measures.

According to a letter circulated to the all the divisional heads of the agriculture (extension) department, of the total 6m acres, 5.3m is in the south Punjab’s main cotton belt alone that consists of 14 districts in Sahiwal, Multan, DG-Khan and Bahawalpur divisions.

The letter mentions cotton sowing target on over 397,690 acres with 516,260 cotton bales production and 16.6 maund per acre yield on average in Sahiwal division.

In Multan division, the agriculture department expects cotton sowing on over 1.8m acres with about 2.5m bales production and 17.5 maund yield per acre.

The cotton sowing target in Dera Ghazi Khan is over 1.149 acres with 2.1m bales and 24 maund yield per acre.

The Bahawalpur division is set to sow cotton on over 1.9m acres with 3.9m bales and 26.5 maund yield per acre.

In Lahore division, only Kasur district will have cotton cultivation on over 31,000 acres with 28,000 bales and 11.6 maund yield per acre. In Gujranwala division, only Mandi Bahauddin district plans to have cotton sowing on over 2,000 acres with 1,300 bales production and 7.7 maund yield per acre alone.

The letter mentions Faisalabad division as having cotton cultivation on over 365,000 acres with more than 434,000 bales production and 15.2 maund yield per acre.

Sargodha division plans to have cotton sowing on over 263,000 acres with 303,000 bales production and 14.7 maund yield per acre.

In Rawalpindi division, Jhelum will have sowing activity on 1,700 acres with 1,200 bales production and 14.2 maund yield per acre.

The letter states that targets of the areas, production and average yield of cotton in the country have been fixed during a recent meeting of the federal committee on cotton.

“The province-wise targets have also been received which have been bifurcated at the district level,” it reads, urging the agriculture officials to achieve the targets.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2017