Updated: December 10, 2021 9:51:51 pm
In a first-of-its-kind horticulture summit, Punjab Horticulture Minister Rana Gurjit Singh said that the state government would develop the Doaba region as a potato seed hub because the soil health of this area is fully suitable for the production of world-class potato seed.
Addressing the summit at IK Gujral Punjab Technical University here, the minister said that Punjab has become the first state in the country to pass the Tissue-based Seed Potato Act, 2021, under which the traceability and certification of potato seed has been made mandatory to ensure quality control of seed. He said that it is the first time the cultivation of potato seed has increased to 78,000 hectare.
Talking about the Fruit and Nursery Act, 1961, the minister said that under that, the registration of nurseries is to be a necessary step besides making tagging and traceability a must.
In a conversation with the farmers, the minister also announced plans to set up banana ripening units. Besides, a subsidy scheme for polyhouses was launched by the minister. In this scheme, the farmers would be able to get 90% subsidy to set up the polyhouses.
To initiate that, 19 farmers from across the state also got work order letters from the minister.
Terming the depletion of groundwater as alarming, the minister urged the horticulture department and Punjab Agriculture University to develop the less water-consuming varieties of crops.
Speaking on the occasion, Director (horticulture) Shalinder Kaur said that the farmers must come forward for cash crops instead of traditional crop pattern to enhance their income.
Nearly 70 prominent horticulturists were also awarded by the Punjab government on this occasion.
Earlier, in the technical and farmers’ session, prominent scientists from PAU and successful farmers in beekeeping and potato production took part in the deliberations.
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