The district horticulture department has brought 126.3 hectares of land under fruit cultivation during 2012-13 and has set a target of another 200 hectares in 2013-14 to encourage farmers to opt for growing fruit and vegetables in Pathankot, deputy commissioner Sibin C said.
This is part of the Punjab government initiative to improve the quality and quantity of fruit and vegetable production in the state.
He said that along with bringing more land under fruit cultivation, special efforts were on to maintain the quality of existing orchards. So, pesticides and insecticides have been sprayed on orchards spread over nearly 3,564 hectares.
Moreover, 16 special horticulture training camps have been organised at village-level to impart information on modern techniques of fruit and vegetable cultivation, the DC said. Under the National Horticulture Mission, one polyhouse and nine vermibeds have also been set up, he added.
Siben said that during the past few years, setting up one banana ripening plant, six polyhouses, five net houses, and 14 vermicompost units had been facilitated in the district at 50% subsidy. Loans totalling Rs 13.50 lakh had been extended at very nominal rate of interest to farmers. They were also sent for field visits to other states to keep them abreast of modern net house cultivation techniques.