With a view to increasing fruit cultivation in Punjab, the horticulture department completed construction of a centre of excellence for citrus fruits at Khanaura village in Hoshiarpur district, expected to be operational in the next two months.
The project, under the National Horticulture Mission, has a budget of about Rs. 10.4 crore.
A meeting was held in Chandigarh to take a decision on the inauguration day but no date has been finalised yet.
Deputy director of horticulture Satbir Singh said a hightech poly house with latest techniques had been set up in a 28-acre area in the village to produce seeds of fruits and flowers. Under the project, farmers will be provided with training in and subsidies for fruit farming to provide better quality fruits in the state. They will also get specific services including a power sprayer with 1500-litre spray mixture tank, fruit picker, rotary tiller, mowing machines and two solar pumps with solar tracker to increase cultivation.
Balwinder Singh, in-charge of the centre at Khanaura, said seeds have already been planted and the trial of plants would be completed before the end of July.
He added that 1,980 citrus fruits have been seeded as trial plants, including 1,540 plants of michal, shani and winola, 220 sweet orange plants, 110 grapefruit and 110 lemon plants.