Cotton crop over record 4.5 million acres of land sown in Punjab

LAHORE:Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi on Saturday expressed satisfaction over the sowing of cotton crop over more than 4.5 million acres of land in the province; a feat achieved after a gap of 10 years.

Chairing a meeting in Lahore, the chief minister said that secretary agriculture as well as commissioners deserved appreciation for making this happen. He also ordered a crackdown on the manufacturers and sellers of spurious pesticides for a period of two months.

For this, he directed the inspector general of police, Punjab (IGP) to hold meetings on a daily basis in order to make the crackdown more effective. The meeting decided to set up stalls and centers for the sale of genuine pesticides to farmers.

It was also decided to set up cells in three divisions of the province to monitor the matters related to the cotton production. CM Naqvi said that a Command and Control Center would be housed in the office of additional secretary agriculture, south Punjab.

He also directed the concerned departments to ensure effective management in order to attain maximum produce of the crop. He said that the provincial government would ensure payment of reasonable amount of money to the cotton farmers.

The meeting was briefed that in Sahiwal, Sargodha and Faisalabad, cotton sowing target had been achieved 100 per cent, while in Multan it was 96 per cent; in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan 92 per cent each.

Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) chairman told the meeting that a system was being devised for the registration and online reporting of cotton farmers.

Chief secretary, the IGP, seniors member of Board of Revenue, secretaries irrigation, livestock, food, finance, Lahore commissioner, PITB chairman and other senior officials attended the meeting.