ISLAMABAD: Sindh will grow cotton over an area of 600,000 hectares and so far sowing on half of the area has been carried out in lower parts of the province, Sindh Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahoo said on Monday.
Attending a ministerial meeting on cotton and wheat in Islamabad – chaired by Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam – Mr Rahoo expressed concern over the high costs of inputs including prices of DAP, urea and pesticides. He also expressed concern over the quality of seeds provided to farmers.
The Punjab agriculture secretary informed the meeting that cotton will be planted on 4 million acres and so far sowing on 13pc area has been completed.
He informed the meeting that the Punjab government was providing subsidy to farmers on cotton seed and fertilisers under its subsidy programme. The Punjab Seed Council has approved 15 new cotton varieties.
The official further informed the meeting that the subsidy on whitefly pesticides will be disbursed to farmers in southern Punjab through ‘Kisan Card’. The provincial government is also working on trace and track of cotton seed so that quality seed can reach growers, he added.
Minister for Agriculture of Balochistan Eng Zamarak informed the meeting that the provincial government has decided to expand the cultivation of cotton in 20 districts. The quality of cotton in Balochistan is much higher than other provinces, he said. Balochistan is the first province to produce organic cotton with non-GMO seeds, he added.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021