Punjab to Export Pathankot Litchis to Foreign Countries to Increase Farmers’ Income

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Punjab to Export Pathankot Litchis to Foreign Countries to Increase Farmers' Income
Punjab to Export Pathankot Litchis to Foreign Countries to Increase Farmers' Income

Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann-led Punjab Government is in full swing to export the best quality litchi of Pathankot district to foreign countries, which will help increase the income of farmers and producers and also reduce the farmers’ dependence on groundwater.

This announcement was made today by Horticulture Minister S. Chetan Singh Jouramajra while addressing the State Level Litchi Exhibition being held at Litchi Zone Sujanpur. He was accompanied by Sh. Lal Chand Kataruchak, Minister of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Forest & Wildlife Protection.

S. Jouramajra said that Pathankot district produces the best quality litchi in Punjab and contributes 60 percent of the state’s litchi production. “With the aim of raising farmers’ awareness about litchi production, the Punjab government will strive to ensure that litchis from Pathankot district reach international markets. For this purpose, the very first consignment of litchi will be exported abroad soon,” mentioned the Cabinet Minister.

S. Chetan Singh Jouramajra also noted that underground water levels are declining rapidly and the only solution to prevent this is to encourage farmers to shift from paddy and wheat cultivation to horticulture. He stressed that the more orchards are planted, the less the heat will be, thereby improving the environment. He added that Pathankot district is ideal for litchi cultivation and that special efforts are being made to increase the profitability for litchi farmers by enhancing production and sales.

The Horticulture Minister announced that the first consignment of litchi will soon be exported, enabling farmers and producers in the Pathankot district to earn higher profits from the litchi crops.

He mentioned that exporting litchi to foreign countries is likely to incur significant costs. To support this initiative, the Cabinet Minister contributed Rs.1 lakh from his salary to facilitate the export of Pathankot’s litchi.

S. Jouramajra informed that approximately 3,900 hectares in Punjab are dedicated to litchi cultivation with about 2,200 hectares located in the Pathankot district, accounting for around 60 percent of Punjab’s total litchi cultivation. Litchi farming is expanding in the district, with new orchards being planted every year, providing farmers with substantial income. He added that the plantation and production of litchi are expected to increase further in the future.

He also said that to promote litchi cultivation, a Litchi Estate has already been established at Sujanpur in the Pathankot district, where all necessary facilities are provided under one roof to the gardeners of the region. Besides this, many small farmers in Pathankot district are engaged in other subsidiary occupations such as mushroom cultivation and silkworm rearing under the horticulture sector.

He said that the Punjab government is providing technical assistance and financial subsidies to silkworm rearers under various schemes of the horticulture department. During the current year, the horticulture department has coordinated with the electricity and canal departments to ensure the continuous supply of electricity and canal water to the orchards.

Director Horticulture Mrs. Shailender Kaur said that efforts are being made to prepare and implement various schemes of the Horticulture Department as per the needs of the farmers. She informed that 50 percent subsidy is being provided on 10 kg cardboard boxes for packing litchis, up to a maximum of 500 boxes per farmer. Besides this, fruit and vegetable producers will be given a 50 percent subsidy for plastic crates. She stated that a 50 percent subsidy is being provided for replacing the poly sheet of poly house structures that are more than three years old. Similarly, the state government will give an incentive amount of Rs.10,000 per acre to farmers who plant new gardens using drip systems. Financial assistance at the rate of Rs.14,000 per acre are given to promote flower seed production. Financial assistance, with a 50 percent subsidy, is also provided to promote mushroom cultivation.

On this occasion, the litchi exhibition was organized at the Litchi Estate Sujanpur, where various varieties of litchi were displayed of distant areas and the district of Pathankot. During the exhibition, the best litchi varieties were selected by experts, and the first and second ranked producers were awarded by Cabinet Minister S. Chetan Singh Jouramajra. Similarly, progressive farmers involved in litchi and silk production were also honoured.

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