Punjab to set up centre of excellence for onion with Dutch assistance
In yet another initiative to provide farmers a substitute to conventional crops, the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government on Friday announced setting up of a state of the art centre of excellence for onions in Sangrur district.
Chandigarh, July 29 (IANS) In yet another initiative to provide farmers a substitute to conventional crops, the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government on Friday announced setting up of a state of the art centre of excellence for onions in Sangrur district.
This would be the third centre of excellence to be established in sync with the Indo-Dutch agreement in Punjab, said Horticulture Minister Fauja Singh Sarari.
The minister was presiding over a meeting with PUM expert from the Netherlands, Tjaart Hoffmanpum, and state Director Horticulture Shailender Kaur.
The minister said the centre is aimed not only to make the Punjab farmers introduce the latest technological and scientific advancements in cultivation of onion but to break the traditional cycle of two-crop system, which has been resulting in depletion of the water table.
"The government is focusing on increasing the income of farmers by introducing new crops and latest technologies while simultaneously continuing the efforts to conserve the natural resources and save the environment," he said.
The minister said the centre will focus on increasing the productivity of onions from 22 tons to 40 tons per hectare using Dutch interventions and reducing the loss in post harvest by 30 per cent by using the latest storage technology.
He said that the centre will be established under the Mission of Development of Horticulture with the cost worth Rs 10 crore. This centre will create entrepreneurs for the onion nursery, he said, adding the benefits of this centre will be provided in the villages.
The minister said presently Punjab has been catering 25 per cent requirement of the onion and once the centre is established, the area will increase to 60,000 acres within three years.
Currently, 25,000 acre area is being cultivated under onion crop.
Meanwhile, the two Indo-Dutch centres in Punjab include the Centre of Excellence for Potatoes in Dhogri in Jalandhar, which is producing an extremely pure form of seed potato.
Another centre for floriculture is coming up at Doraha in Ludhiana, which will encourage seed production technology.
Punjab also has two Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence -- for vegetables at Kartarpur in Jalandhar and for fruits (citrus) at Khanaura in Hoshiarpur.