Punjab government on Wednesday announced to open two Centre of Excellence for Citrus fruit and vegetables at Khanaura in Hoshiarpur and Kartarpur in Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 20.03 crore in co-operation with Isarel.
A Punjab government spokesperson said that the state government is making concerted efforts to strengthen the infra structure for the preservation of the fruits and vegetables which includes establishing two Centres of Excellence in the state one for Citrus at Khanaura in Hoshiarpur district at a cost of Rs 10.30 crore and the other for vegetables at Kartarpur in Jalandhar district at a cost of Rs 9.73 crore.
“Both of the centres will be setup by the Punjab Mandi Board in sync with the Indo-Israel agreement. Further, the state government is providing plastic crates to the cultivators at a cost of Rs 150 lakh under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) to enhance the shelf life of fruits and vegetables,” said the spokesperson, adding that under National Vegetable Initiative (NVI), a subsidiary scheme of RKVY, has also been implemented in the five districts of the state which includes Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sangrur, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib.
The spokesperson said that a concrete proposal for the expansion of Litchi and Guava estates was on anvil and these proposals have been sent under the RKVY for establishing two sub centers of the Citrus estates at Maur (Bathinda) and Kotkapura (Faridkot) to provide all the facilities to Citrus estates in the state.
“In addition to this, Horticulture department has supplied 12 lakh saplings to the farmers from the registered nurseries to increase production of fruits in the state and 13000 people were being imparted training at the Fruit Processing Laboratories of the department across the state,” he said.
He added that Indian Agriculture Ministry has sanctioned Rs 75 crore for Punjab in current fiscal year under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) to give further impetus to the state government’s ambitious ‘Agriculture Diversification’ program.
“These funds will be used for setting up and maintenance of orchards, floriculture, Bee-keeping besides installation of community water tanks, Green House, Cold Stores and packs houses,” he added.