Approving an action plan of the Punjab horticulture department under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM), the union ministry of agriculture has sanctioned Rs 75 crore for the state in the current financial year for providing impetus to the state's diversification programme.
Under this plan, the funds would be provided for orchards, floriculture and beekeeping, besides the installation of community water tanks, greenhouses, cold stores and packaging houses, a spokesman for the chief minister's office said here on Wednesday.
The funds would help farmers interested in deviating from the rotational wheat-paddy sowing to crops such as maize, soybean, pulses, flowers, fruits and vegetables.
"Concerted efforts are afoot to strengthen the infrastructure for the preservation of fruits and vegetables, which includes establishing a 'centre of excellence' each at Khanaura in Hoshiarpur district for citrus and at Kartarpur in Jalandhar district for vegetables.
These centres would collectively cost the state Rs 20 crore," the spokesman said.
In the current financial year, plastic crates were being provided to cultivators at a cost of Rs 150 lakh under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to facilitate horticulturists.
Besides, a National Vegetable Initiative (NVI), a subsidiary scheme of the RKVY, has also been implemented in five districts - Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sangrur, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib under which the Centre has approved Rs 6 crore in the current fiscal, he added.