Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will visit Mansa on Friday to assess the situation arising out of white-fly pest attacks on cotton crops. The chief minister, who will be accompanied by senior officials, has directed the Agriculture Department to offer all possible assistance to farmers, an official spokesperson said. Taking note of the reports of the white-fly attack causing damage to the cotton crop, the chief minister has decided to visit the affected areas for a first-hand assessment of the extent of destruction and its impact on the farming community, he said. Singh has also directed the agriculture department and the police to crack down on the sale of spurious pesticides, which had aggravated the situation. He has instructed the concerned officials to ensure supply of genuine pesticides to the farmers to help them arrest further spread of the white-fly, according to the spokesperson. Singh has further ordered the concerned departments to ensure the supply of quality seeds to the distressed farmers. He has also suggested awareness camps to be organized to apprise the farmers of the ways and means of protecting their crops in the cotton belt, the spokesperson said.
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