LAHORE: All stakeholders have joined hands to save the cotton crop and with the technical support of the army, modern chemicals are being sprayed with the help of drones and helicopters to check the whitefly attack.

A meeting on the current situation of cotton in the province under Agriculture Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo was held on Saturday. Special teams of the department are working to protect the cotton crop from the attack of harmful insects in south Punjab.

Apart from this, technical guidance is also being given to the farmers for clean picking of cotton so that the farmers get better compensation for clean and dry-picked cotton.

During the briefing, the agriculture secretary was told that cotton picking is going on across the province while the farmers are being provided guidance regarding cotton irrigation, nutrition and pest management in September.

Whitefly attack has been observed in some areas particularly in south Punjab due to hot and dry weather. However, after receiving the report, advanced chemicals were sprayed with the help of drones and helicopters on an area of 2,500 acres in Jampur and Rajanpur areas with the support of the Pakistan Army. Farmers are satisfied as special teams of Agriculture Extension & Pest Warning are working as partners side by side. This year, the production of cotton in the whole province has doubled compared to last year.

On this occasion, Mr Sahoo also instructed all the divisional directors to compile the data of cotton production records so that effective strategies can be formulated for more production of cotton in the coming years keeping in view the correct estimate.

He clarified that more per acre production of cotton is the guarantee of farmers’ prosperity and stability in the country’s economy. Therefore, all the officers and staff should perform their duty as a national duty. In the end, Mr Sahoo directed officers and staff to ensure achievement of the cotton production target.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023

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