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  • News Desk
  • Feb 16th, 2011
  • Comments Off on Cotton vision 2015: government plans to bring more area under cotton cultivation
Under cotton vision 2015, the government plans to bring more area under cotton cultivation particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the plan, the government wanted to increase cotton production by 20 million bales through potential areas of Balochistan and KP.

Having considered various options for production enhancement, it was realised that the production level of 20 million bales could be achieved by 2015 with a modest increase in sowing areas in potential cotton growing areas of Balochistan and NWFP coupled with an average of 5% growth in per hectare yield. The sources said that cotton alone contributes nearly 65 percent of the foreign exchange earnings of Pakistan. To bring more area under cultivation and ensure food security, the government plans to purchase 100 bulldozers for land development work in Balochistan with financial assistance of Italian government.

The project titled "poverty alleviation through enhancement of agriculture productivity" (Progressive replacement of 100 bulldozers for land development work in Balochistan) will cost Rs 2.112 billion. The project would help the government in bringing additional land under cultivation through levelling/ development of such lands, which were never under cultivation and needed reclamation through heavy earth moving machinery. Leveling of virgin land, the area to be added to the existing cultivated area. Leveling of virgin land includes jungle clearance, removal of sand dunes and rocks, filling ditches of barren land to make it available for cultivation.

The project sponsored by the government of Balochistan envisages procurement of 100 bulldozers (140-150 HP) with 10 percent spare parts. In addition, 6 fuel tankers, 6 (4x4) pick-ups and three jeeps (one five doors and two three doors jeeps along with 5 percent spare parts. The project is proposed to be funded through Italian Debt Swap of $100 million. All incidental charges will be borne by the provincial government. The project will be completed in a period of one year and would be executed through existing financial system of the provincial government of Balochistan. The bulldozers procured will be deployed for development of 78 thousand hectares of land (70 percent new and 30 percent existing) throughout the life of the bulldozers. The bulldozers would be given to the farmers at the rate of Rs 550 per hour against operational cost of Rs 3994.60 per hour involving 86 percent subsidy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011


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