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100,000 biogas tube-wells to be provided to growers

Punjab Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed said on Tuesday the government would provide 100,000 biogas tube-wells to growers at subsidized prices to promote the agriculture sector by exploiting alternate means of energy resources. Talking to the media at the Central Cotton Research Institute after presiding over a Cotton Crop Management Group meeting here, the minister said a feasibility report had been prepared and a sum of Rs 7.5 billion allocated to extend the benefit of subsidy to growers for the provision of biogas and solar tube-wells.

Under the project, diesel-powered tube-wells will also be converted to biogas, the minister said.

To a query, the minister said the percentage of subsidy support to growers was yet to be decided, however, promised that maximum benefit would be extended to farmers under the initiative.

The minister said that Pakistan has potential of producing 15 million bales of cotton and had once nearly reached that figure when 14.8 million cotton bales were produced few years ago.

However, hot weather conditions and floods played havoc with the crop and other factors like shortage of water had reduced cotton crop production assessment to 8.5 million bales this year, the minister said.

The floods damaged around 240,000 acres of the cotton crop and 159,000 acres of them were completely destroyed, he added.

Dr Farrukh Javed said the government was aware of the water shortage problem and added that Wapda and Irrigation department officials would be invited to attend the next CCMG meeting to address the problem.

The minister said he was closely monitoring the situation regarding fake pesticides cases and an order had been issued to quarters concerned to send detailed reports regularly to his office regarding the case property i.e stock of seized pesticides.

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