Punjab’s crop diversification programme has received a tremendous response from farmers with the state nearly accomplishing its goal to bring 12.5 lakh acres of land under cotton cultivation, according to the state government, which recently said the set target would be achieved soon with cotton sown over an area of 10 lakh acres in the state so far.

Viswajeet Khanna, state additional chief secretary for development, said the agriculture department had made timely and adequate arrangement of fertiliser and hybrid Bt cotton seeds well in advance to ensure seamless sowing of cotton crop across the state amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Bathinda district has recorded maximum sowing of 3.39 lakh acres followed by Fazilka with 2.38 lakh acres and 2.1 lakh acres in Mansa,” he was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The agriculture department has also coordinated with the Cotton Corporation of India to buy last season’s remaining cotton produce from farmers at the assured minimum support price and for this, 19 markets have already been made operational in the cotton belt.