In a bid to further improve the horticulture sector, the Punjab government has decided to adopt the latest technology from Israel so as to get a good yield of crops and vegetables even with less water consumption.After a threadbare discussion with the horticultural experts from Israel here at MAGSIPA, Sector 26, Punjab Horticulture and Soil & Water Conservation Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh said, despite scarcity of water resources in Israel, emphasis was being laid on quality production with minimum water consumption to increase the yield and Israel has become world leader in adopting new horticultural techniques. He said that the state-of-the-art centers being run in Punjab with the technical assistance of Israel are proving beneficial for quality horticultural crops. He added that the efforts were also being made by the department to adopt the same technology to other crops as well.The Horticulture Minister said that at a time when every country was concerned about the quality of water and depleting water levels, Punjab was also trying to move ahead in horticulture sector by adopting new techniques, adding that emphasis was being laid on making the farmers aware about the new technologies and reaping more benefits.Rana Gurjeet Singh said that two centers were set up at Kartarpur (Jalandhar) in 2013 and at Khanaura (Hoshiarpur) in 2014 with Israel technology. At Kartarpur, various structures have been set up to grow vegetables under controlled conditions.
He informed that about 150 lakh saplings of different vegetables have been prepared in this center so far and provided to about 7000 farmers besides imparting 27 training on safe farming to about 1000 farmers. Vegetable nursery was being delivered to farms at very reasonable rates. The Minister said that high value seasonal vegetables such as muskmelon and low seed watermelon in net houses and other exotic vegetables which are in high demand in the market are being rapidly adopted by the farmers.He said that high technology of Israel was being adopted for the cultivation of fruits at Khanaura. At this center, saplings of 12 sweet oranges and 8 varieties of Narangi orange are being prepared by planting them on different rootstocks and are being provided to farmers. About 800 farmers have so far been imparted 32 training sessions on new horticulture techniques at this center.Mr. Yair Ashel, Horticultural Expert from Israel said, Punjab and Israel were already jointly working in the field of horticulture and two Centers of Excellence, Center of Excellence for Vegetables, Kartarpur, District Jalandhar and Center of Excellence for Fruits (Citrus), Khanora, District Hoshiarpur were functioning successfully in Punjab under the Indo-Israel Work Plan. On this occasion Mrs. Seema Jain Additional Chief Secretary (Horticulture), Mr. Gagandeep Singh Brar Secretary Horticulture, Mr. Mandeep Brar Managing Director Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, Mr. Rajesh Vashisht Chief Soil Conservator, Mr. Balwinder Singh Sidhu Commissioner Agriculture, Mrs. Shailinder Kaur Director Horticulture and Nodal Officers of various crops including horticulture were present.