MULTAN -

The target for paddy cultivation in Punjab has been set at 4.266 million acres with an assessment to produce 3.374 million tons this season, over 100 million tons lower than that of the last year. According to a release issued by the media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department here on Monday, last year, paddy was cultivated at 4.229 million acres while the cultivation target for this season was set at 4.266 million acres. Agriculture experts said that paddy production could surpass the target of 3.374 million tons this season as there was room for increase in per acre production depending upon agronomic practices. They said shortage of micronutrients like zinc and boron affected the production of paddy and urged farmers to begin sowing of thick varieties of paddy in time which included Irri-6, KS-282, KSK-133, and Niab Irri-9. Clean and healthy seed should be utilized and it should be treated with some suitable anti-fungus pesticides, they added.