The farming community has so far cultivated cotton over 65.22 percent of the total area fixed for the season 2023-24, whereas the sowing of the vital crop will continue at full pace by the end of the current month to achieve the set target. “So far, the cotton sowing has been completed over 1.805 million hectares (Mha) of land against the set target of 2.767 Mha during the crop season 2023-24 to produce about 12 million bales,” the Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr Zahid said here on Wednesday. Talking to APP, he said, “Crop sowing in Punjab has been completed over 61.47 percent area over 1.241 million hectares against the set target of 2.019 million hectares to produce about 8.336 million bales during the current season.” “Meanwhile, Sindh has achieved over 71.43 percent of its assigned targets and completed crop sowing over 0.480 million hectares as compared to the set crop sowing targets of 0.672 million hectares while the cotton output targets for the province is fixed at 4.00 million bales.” “During the season, the cotton sowing observed upward momentum in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces as both the provinces achieved their cultivation targets by 113 percent and 110 percent respectively.” “Growth in crop sowing in the two provinces was mainly attributed to the incentives introduced by the current government to revive crop production in the country, he added. “In KP, the cotton crop has been cultivated over 0.0026 million hectares against the set targets of 0.0023 million hectares.” He informed that the crop output of the province was fixed at 0.004 million bales, whereas about 0.0809 million hectares of Balochistan were put under cotton production to produce about 0.430 million bales during the period under review. The Cotton Commissioner further informed that the incumbent government was taking appropriate measures to revive cotton output and introduced several measures for encouraging local growers. He said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had fixed cotton (Phutti) intervention price (CIP) at Rs 8,500 per 40kg to revive cotton production, bring stability to the domestic market and assure a fair return to farmers in the country. Besides, the government was also providing Rs1,000 per-acre subsidy on the approved varieties of seeds and the farmers were also provided with a subsidy worth billions on fertilizers. For ensuring technical support and assistance to farmers at their doorsteps during the period from sowing to harvesting, the government has also established facilitation centres at every Tehsil, besides ensuring the availability of water in arid areas.