Secretary promises price support to cotton farmers

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MULTAN: Punjab Agriculture Department Secretary Muhammad Mahmud said on Tuesday that the provincial government would prevent farmers from losses being caused by instability in the cotton market and would intervene to rescue them.

Speaking at a seminar and exhibition on cotton in Mianwali’s Piplan tehsil, Mahmud said the provincial government had sent recommendations to the federal government for announcement of the cotton support price, assuring stakeholders that the government would not let raw cotton price go below Rs3,000 per maund (40 kg).

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Punjab Archaeology Minister Muhammad Asif Malik said the province was trying to improve agricultural exports in order to strengthen the country’s economy and raise its global profile.

“Considerable foreign exchange can be earned through agricultural exports through proper crop planning, enhanced production and adoption of better post-harvest strategies,” Malik said.

Mahmud informed the minister that the government had hired services of 4,000 agricultural graduates from the private sector in an effort to provide guidance to the farmers at their doorsteps.

“Cotton production contests are being held for the first time in the country’s 70-year history and agricultural machinery worth Rs14 million will be distributed among the winners,” a statement released by the agricultural department said.

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Mahmud apprised the minister of the distribution of 10,000 Pheromone traps among cotton farmers of Mianwali, Bhakkar and Layyah within a week for effective control of pink bollworm, adding the Punjab government had already distributed PB ropes worth Rs96.232 million among farmers of 54 districts to counter the pink bollworm threat.

On the occasion, agricultural companies distributed spray machines, Pheromone traps and hollow cone nozzles among the farmers.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2017.

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