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. 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.It is pertinent to mention that Daily Post India has shown the report on the white-fly attack causing damage to the cotton crop, farmers start uprooting cotton plants in Malwa. Condition of farmers in the state, especially Malwa region, has turned pitiable. In the past three months, hardly any day would have passed without the news of farmers here committing suicide.Despite the chief minister’s repeated appeals and his government’s announcements of waiving off agricultural debt to a limit, the incidents of suicide are not stopping in any way. In the past two days, at least three distressed farmers have committed suicide in Mansa district alone.The situation ahead is apparently turning grimmer with whitefly pest attacking the cotton plants in Malwa region, which is called the “cotton belt” of Punjab. Finding no headway in checking the growth of the pest eating the plant leaves even after repeated sprays of the “recommended” pesticides, the distressed farmers have now started uprooting the plants.