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Punjab: Golden Temple to take direct control of organic farming for its langar

Secretary, SGPC, Sukhdev Singh Bhura told The Indian Express that the Golden Temple administration has decided to take charge of the pesticide-free farming at Satlani Sahib.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Chandigarh |
March 1, 2020 5:39:44 am
Golden Temple langar, Punjab organic farming, amritsar news, punjab news, indian express news Organic farming at Satlani Sahib Gurdwara near Amritsar. The produce from the land is used in the langar at the Golden Temple. (Express photo)

The Golden Temple administration has decided to take direct control of organic farming of vegetables for its community kitchen at the Gurdwara Satlani Sahib near Attari. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) now has nearly 21 acre land at Satlani Sahib – three times the seven acre on which it had initially taken up organic farming in 2015.

The produce from the land at Satlani Sahib is used in the langar (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple, which witnesses a footfall of 60,000 to 100,000 devotees and tourists every day. The numbers more than double on the weekends and historical days.

Secretary, SGPC, Sukhdev Singh Bhura told The Indian Express that the Golden Temple administration has decided to take charge of the pesticide-free farming at Satlani Sahib.

It was in 2015 that SGPC had passed a resolution and asked all the gurdwaras to use their land for organic farming. The gurdwaras under direct or indirect control of SGPC have around 13,000 acre land in Punjab and in other states.

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“Around 60 gurdwaras under our control now reap vegetables on land spread over an acre or less.

However, the pesticide-less farming, in true spirit, was carried out only at Satlani Sahib. Now, the Golden Temple will take control of the farming there and we will pay rent to the Gurdwara Satlani Sahib for using their land,” said Sukhdev Singh.

Baldev Singh, manager of Gurdwara Satlani Sahib said that they harvested 444 tonnes of vegetables in 2019-20. “We produced carrots worth Rs 1 lakh from one acre this season. Our main crops are carrots, cauliflower and pumpkin. Aapart from that, we also harvest tomatoes, garlic and peas,” said Baldev Singh.

Sukhdev Singh added that vegetable from Satlani Sahib meet nearly 40 per cent requirement of the Golden Temple langar. “We will try to further increase the area under organic farming at Satlani Sahib,” he said.

He, however, admitted that organic farming was being carried out on a very small part of SGPC land.

“It is always a challenge to push for reforms and SGPC is no exception. We have been pushing gurdwaras to adopt organic farming. Of the nearly 13,000 with the gurdwaras, a major share of land remains with private person who have signed contracts for farming. Such contracts is also a source of income for gurdwaras,” said Sukhdev Singh.

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