ISLAMABAD: Repre­sen­tatives of provincial governments on Wednesday de­­man­­ded financial support for research and genetic engineering, minimum support price, availability of imp­roved seed and pesticides for the revival of cotton.

Meanwhile, the federal government categorically assured provinces that relief will be given to growers in the form of incentives and subsidies for the revival of the cotton crop in the country.

Chairing the meeting, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam announced that a total production of six million cotton bales is expected to be achieved during the coming Kharif season. To achieve this target, he proposed district-wise monitoring of the cotton crop.

Stressing that cotton growers in the country must be reassured, he said relief will be given as incentives by the federal and provincial governments in the form of cotton-specific subsidies. Besides, subsidy for tractors and easy loan mark-ups and fertilisers will also be provided to farmers, Mr Imam pledged.

Ministers and secretaries of agriculture from all provinces were present at the meeting. National Food Security and Research secretary Ghufran Memon was also present at the meeting.

The minister further said that subsidy on cotton seeds and pesticides for whitefly and pink bollworm will be given to cotton growers. It will be ensured that the subsidy reaches the farmers and does not get lost halfway, he stressed.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2021

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