Deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha said here on Friday that crop diversification is the need of the hour and horticulture is being looked upon as a viable change.
He said the Punjab government was making crates for transportation available at 50% subsidy to motivate the farmers towards self-marketing of fruit and vegetables.
He added that if a farmer indulged into self-marketing of his produce, then he could add on to his profit. The initiative has been taken by the horticulture department under the National Agriculture Development Plan.
The DC said under the scheme 7,000 new crates would be made available in a year to the horticulturalists (fruit and vegetable growers) of the district. He said, “Current market price of a crate is Rs 280, but it is being provided by horticulture department at Rs 140 per crate.”
With the help of these crates the farmers can easily, without any damage to the produce, transport their fruit and vegetables to the market in far flung areas and can earn proper returns from his produce.
A farmer can get maximum 30 crates under the scheme. All the farmer has to do is to fill an application in a specified performa in Gurdaspur, Dera Baba Nanak or Batala offices of the horticulture department.
He said with an aim of enhancing the income of farmers, the state government was trying to boost agricultural-allied activities along with the regular agriculture.
He said farmers could earn huge profit by growing fruit and vegetables as higher profits were possible by very little investment.
Stating that the plan is very useful for the farmers, he said so far, in Gurdaspur district, fruit was being grown in 780 hectares and vegetables in 5,400 hectares.