FAISALABAD          -                  The agriculture experts have advised the growers to start cultivation of cotton crops after mid April as cotton sowing before this period is attacked by pests severely especially Gulabi Sundi (pink bollworm).  A spokesman of the agriculture department told APP here today that the farmers are prohibited to cultivate cotton before 1st April. Therefore, the farmers should prefer to start cultivation of cotton after 15th April and use hybrid approved varieties if they want to get maximum yield and financial benefits. Responding to a question, he told APP that although cotton is a cash crop and called as “White Gold”, yet its cultivation witnessed an extraordinary decline in district Faisalabad.

Taking sensitivity of the situation in cognizance, the agriculture department has activated its field staff to persuade the growers so that they could bring maximum land under cotton cultivation and increase its crops.  In this connection, seminars, training workshops and sessions are being arranged at union council level across the district whereas the field staff has also been assigned cotton cultivation targets and their performance would be monitored and checked on weekly basis. The field staff has also been directed to compile data of cotton growers so that they could also avail from incentives and subsidies to be provided by the government for this sector, he added. He said that cotton is a precious commodity of Pakistan which is not only playing a pivotal role in bringing foreign exchange for the country by increasing its exports but it is also causing provision of jobs to millions of people in textile sector. He said that the cotton is a cash crop and it is helping in mitigating financial constraints of the growers. Therefore, the farmers should cultivate approved varieties including CIM-496, CIM-506, CIM-554, CIM-573, MNH-786, CRSM-38, PH-167, FH-942, NIAB-852, NIAB-777, NIAB-846, SLH-317, etc. on maximum space of land.