M RAFIQUE GORAYA
September 14, 2012: The recent monsoon rains had a very positive effect on the Kharif crops including rice, sugarcane, cotton, maize, fodder vegetables and saved Rs 5 billion to Rs 7 billion of the farmers in agriculture input costs and production.
Talking to Business Recorder Director General Agriculture Extension Services Punjab Dr Anjum Ali said “though some areas of Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts have been affected by hill torrents, canal breaches and rain water, yet the overall impact of the September rains in the province has been good on the crops that were facing water shortage in August.
Chairman Pakistan Agri-Forum Ibrahim Mughal said the rains have saved at least two watering of rice, sugarcane, fodder and maize in September otherwise farmers / growers would have to spend at least Rs 5 to 7 billion on the purchase of diesel, electricity bills and pesticides.
He said due to shortage of water the cash-crop sugarcane had come under pyrilla attack, which rains have controlled. The rains have also been useful for the up-coming citrus fruits. He said the farmers of the Barani areas (rain-fed areas) could use the moisture of the standing water in the fields for sowing the wheat, grams, lentils, fodder next month.
President Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAF) Tariq Bucha said so far the rains have been very timely and useful for all crops. However, if there was another long spell of rains in third week of September, then it would damage the ripe cotton crop in the cotton belt of south Punjab.