Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced a grant of Rs 14 crore for the distant marketing and export of kinnow so as to ensure remunerative prices to the growers in the state.
Addressing the progressive kinnow farmers and exporters during a workshop on pre and post harvest management in kinnow, Badal said here that the state was committed to provide requisite infrastructure and marketing support to the kinnow growers so that they could compete with their peers not within the country but in international markets also.
Responding to the issues raised by the kinnow growers and exporters, the Chief Minister assured them that he would soon take up the matter with the Union Ministry of Agriculture, to grant permission for fungicide laden wax to be used for waxing the kinnows as per international standards to qualify for export of their produce in the global market.
Likewise, the Chief Minister also assured the local kinnow producers and exporters that he would soon take up the issue of getting special air conditioned rakes sanctioned from the Ministry of Railways and impress upon the Railways Minister to sanction these AC rakes well in advance before the onset of marketing season of kinnow so as to enable them to market their produce to the distant places, especially in southern parts of the country.
The Chief Minister also called upon the farmers to further enhance export potential of kinnow to fetch better prices of their produce.
Badal also said that Punjab Kisan Vikas Chamber had been set up at Mohali with an investment of Rs 20 crore on the pattern of FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM to give suggestions and recommendations on various issues related to agriculture and allied farming like animal husbandry, bee keeping, fishery, horticulture etc to make the agriculture profession economically viable and financially sustainable.
Badal further said that a need was felt to have such organisation since long to provide an interactive platform to the farmers so as to enable them to take up their issues at an appropriate level for the quick resolution to their satisfaction.
On the occasion, Badal announced to send group of progressive farmers in horticulture, agriculture and allied farming abroad so as to enable them to update their knowledge about latest techniques in these fields besides enhancing the export potential.
In his address, MD, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation K S Pannu said that Punjab has nearly 20,000 kinnow producers in the state producing quality kinnow in the areas of Fazilka, Hoshiarpur, Muktsar and Bathinda.
He said 5,000 metric tonne of kinnow were exported to Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Dubai from the state during last year.
“We have fixed an export target of at least 15,000 MT during the current year,” he added.