Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

With depleting rivers and groundwater, excessive pesticide dependence, local weather dangers and unsustainable cropping patterns like paddy rising, Punjab seeks Israel’s assist to develop agri-infrastructure, minimise manufacturing and worth dangers and supply high-yielding and disease-free horticultural varieties that require much less water.

Since India’s Independence, Punjab has been the meals bowl of the nation and has primarily two crop programs — wheat and paddy.

Farming consultants say that it takes 3, 800-5, 000 litres of water to provide one kg of rice.

According to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann rice isn’t even the state’s staple meals and its cultivation depleted Punjab’s groundwater.

Agriculture consultants foresee a significant risk to the nation’s meals safety if the state’s groundwater goes dry because it has already reached the depths of 150-200 metres in most locations.

Groundwater contamination is one other concern in Punjab that’s not getting public consideration.

To cut back farm misery, as a majority of the growers of Punjab are small and marginal farmers with declining and fragmenting landholdings, the state authorities final week explored alternatives to collaborate with Israel because it excels upfront farming applied sciences.

This collaboration with Israel would profit native farmers as it will give them entry to the newest farming applied sciences and educate them sustainable practices via centres of excellence.

It would additionally construct on present partnerships in horticulture initiatives with the necessity for a digital revolution.

Also an try was initiated to offer farm-to-market expertise to facilitate the advertising and marketing of kinnow, the state’s flagship citrus fruit with a mean annual manufacturing of over 5 lakh tonnes, primarily within the South Malwa belt, in case of a bumper crop.

Field stories say this 12 months the kinnow mandarin had bumper manufacturing however farmers stared at poor revenue as they fetched a mean price of Rs 9-10 per kg, in comparison with Rs 20-25 per kg they received within the earlier 12 months when the crop was not bountiful.

This season 47, 000 hectares of land was introduced underneath kinnow manufacturing. Also the kinnow flavoured gin, a product of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd launched final 12 months that was brewed in Goa, has did not make waves regardless of its enormous worth.

A Punjab Government spokesperson instructed IANS that throughout the assembly with Hadas Bakst, Political Domestic Advisor, Embassy of Israel, on January 23 in Chandigarh, the state’s Horticulture Minister Chetan Singh Jauramajra highlighted that underground water was depleting quickly — a crucial subject that wants pressing consideration.

Chetan Singh Jauramajra highlighted key areas for collaboration, together with digital options for pest management, local weather and soil monitoring programs, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for crop yields, determination assist programs, drones for harvesting and spraying, in addition to precision farming software program options.

The dialogue touched upon the potential of year-round cultivation in greenhouses and hydroponic farming to handle the growing demand for meals, the spokesperson instructed IANS.

The minister targeted on extending sensor technology-based irrigation programs and modern storage options for environment friendly and sustainable farming.

Addressing the necessity for developments in citrus cultivation, he proposed the combination of byproduct applied sciences to handle biowaste successfully.

On a mean, a single piece of kinnow mandarin incorporates 45-50 per cent juice and the remainder of the proportion is peel, rag and seeds, which is of no use thus far.

With the introduction of latest equipment at processing models, the administration of biowaste of citrus comparable to extraction of limonin, peel oil, and many others., will assist lots.

He requested to introduce new patented citrus varieties, rootstocks immune to pests and the cultivation of latest crops like dragon fruit and raspberries.

In the vegetable sector, the minister advocated for the introduction of seedless sorts of melons, single-picking sorts of peas and tomatoes appropriate for mechanisation and brinjal varieties immune to fruit and shoot borers.

The minister underlined the necessity for biodegradable and slow-release fertiliser expertise in horticulture, together with the utilisation of bio-pesticide expertise to regulate pests and ailments.

He proposed the incorporation of immediate sensor-based applied sciences to detect nutrient deficiencies in horticultural crops.

Director, Horticulture, Shailender Kaur emphasised on the built-in worth chain centre of excellence institution in Punjab in collaboration with Israeli expertise to scale back post-harvest losses in horticulture crops.

Hadas Bakst mentioned Israel was eager to boost technological collaboration in agriculture and horticulture sectors with Punjab. She mentioned expert-level conferences can be held in February and March with concentrate on delivering the newest expertise and introducing new horticultural varieties to handle the state’s depleting groundwater points.

Hadas Bakst additionally highlighted the continuing operation of two centres of excellence in Punjab by Israel, emphasising the continued sharing of agricultural applied sciences.

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