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Litchi Growers’ concerns to be addressed on priority, avers Chetan Singh Jauramajra
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Horticulture Minister chairs meeting of concerned departments to promote horticulture in the state, issues strict instructions to officials

Litchi Growers’ concerns to be addressed on priority, avers Chetan Singh Jauramajra :  In reaffirming Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann’s commitment to enhancing horticulture in Punjab and improving farmers’ income, Horticulture Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra, on Wednesday, directed concerned department officials to promptly address the issues of the litchi growers of Gurdaspur and Pathankot.

Litchi Growers' concerns to be addressed on priority, avers Chetan Singh Jauramajra

During the meeting at Punjab Bhawan, Cabinet Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra asked the PSPCL about farmers’ demand for 10 hours of uninterrupted power supply at night in the peak season of April and May for litchi growers, directing Chief Engineer PSPCL Mr. Satinder Sharma to prioritize fulfilling this demand. The Minister instructed Mr. Chander Gaind, Secretary, Water Resources Department to ensure timely repair of canals and minors for ensuring uninterrupted canal water supply for litchi orchards during the summer season. He said that the delay in cleaning and repairing of canals in March and April, disrupts water supply to litchi orchards, impacting the fruit yield.

The Horticulture Minister instructed Mr. Ranbir Singh, General Manager, Punjab Agro to explore litchi export possibilities, ensuring the marketing of litchi within the state and abroad, aiming to increase profits for growers. Likewise, the Cabinet Minister asked the scientists from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana to develop new litchi varieties and create specific packaging suitable for export.

In response to farmers’ demand for installing solar systems in orchards, the Cabinet Minister directed Mr. Rajesh Bansal, Joint Director of PEDA to take action and provide solar pumps for these orchards, emphasizing that based on the Horticulture Department’s recommendation, a range of 500 to 1000 solar pumps should be allocated for the growers.

The Cabinet Minister asked Mrs. Shailender Kaur, Director of Horticulture Department to ensure that recommended insecticides/fungicides are provided to the farmers through a special outlet at Litchi Estate. The minister said that he will hold a meeting with the Finance Minister in the next few days to provide additional funds to Litchi Estate. He also asked Director to hold a meeting with insurance companies to create an insurance scheme for litchi growers.

The Minister asked the officials of the forest department to prepare a plan for installing fencing wire around the litchi orchards.

The Horticulture Minister urged litchi farmers to create clusters and work in unison, emphasizing that this approach would assist in cutting down the input cost of produce.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Mr. Chander Gaind, Secretary of Water Resources, Mrs. Shailender Kaur, Director, Horticulture, Mrs. Amrit Kaur Gill, Secretary, Mandi Board Mr. Saiyam Agarwal, Special Secretary Horticulture, Dr. Harpreet Singh, Assistant Director Horticulture, Mr. J.P. Singh, Chief Engineer (Canals), Water Resources Department and other officials.

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