By admin       2019-04-15

April 14, 2019 - FAISALABAD: Cultivation of cotton, a crop popularly known by the epithet ‘white gold’, has declined extraordinarily in Faisalabad district, stated an official from the Agriculture Department on Saturday. In the past five years, cotton cultivation has been ceased on more than 22,000 acres of land, he added. Five years ago, cotton was sown in over 0.1 million acres of land in Faisalabad district. However, with the passage of time, cotton is only being cultivated on 78,000 acres. In light of these alarming statistics, the government has decided to persuade farmers to cultivate the crop. The government has fixed a target of 15 million bales of cotton for this year. In this regard, farmers will be provided a subsidy of Rs1,000 on each bag of seeds so that they are able to cultivate the crop on the maximum area of land, he maintained. Field staff from the department has also been dispatched to persuade farmers to cultivate cotton; in this way the maximum area of land available can be used to cultivate cotton thereby increasing its production, he highlighted. He added that the department has also devised a comprehensive strategy for this purpose. Seminars, training workshops and sessions are being arranged at a union council level while field staff has been directed to achieve cotton cultivation targets. Their performance will be monitored regularly, he said. Field staff has also been directed to compile the data of cotton farmers in the district so that they are able to avail the incentives and subsidies provided by the government, he stated. He maintained that cotton is a precious commodity for the country. Not only does it play a pivotal role in bringing in foreign exchange through exports, it also creates jobs for millions of people in the textile sector, the official said. Cotton is a cash crop and is helping to mitigate the financial burden on farmers. Growers should cultivate approved varieties on the maximum area of land available. He advised farmers to begin cultivating cotton crops after mid-April, adding that assistance can be sought on the department’s free helpline.

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