A high-level delegation led by Maharashtra State Horticulture Minister Sandipan Bhumre held a meeting with Punjab Horticulture Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh and senior officials of the department at Punjab Bhawan on Tuesday in which both the states agreed on the exchange of technology being used to increase the production of fruits and vegetables.
Addressing the meeting, Rana Gurjit Singh said that the farmers of the entire country were currently going through a severe economic crisis. Only agricultural diversification can get the farmer out of the current economic stress. He categorically said that by producing fruits and vegetables, the farmer can get out of the current crisis.
Informing about the bitter realities of the farmers of Punjab, Rana Gurjeet Singh said that the farmers of Punjab have been cultivating wheat and paddy for a long time and the ground water has gone down considerably. Punjab has a reserve of water for the next 25 years. He said that the water level has depleted upto 300 feet deep at present. He said that at present about Rs.7000 crore free electricity was being provided to the farmers.
Rana reiterated that crop diversification is the only way to get the farmers out of the crisis. He said that the demand for vegetables and fruits is increasing. Rana Gurjeet Singh acknowledged that the state of Maharashtra has achieved a special place in country in the production of fruits and vegetables. Punjab and Maharastra can mutually benefit from each other by learning the techniques to increase the production of fruits and vegetables, marketing them and exporting them abroad.
Rana Gurjeet Singh also stressed upon the need to use such herbicide and weedicide being used in Europe and US to control weeds and to ensure maximum yield and quality of vegetables.
Bhumre said that one of the motives behind their Punjab’s visit was to get scientific knowledge about the techniques and other methods being used by them to grow citrus crops in Punjab and then to increase the production of these crops in the state of Maharashtra.