Potato growers head to Ukraine
Potato growers from the city will take 300 hectares of land on lease in Ukraine by December to cultivate high-value cash crops like sunflower, maize and other cash crops. Fruit and vegetable will also be cultivated. The project will be run a pilot before being copied on a larger scale.
A delegation from the Jalandhar Potato Growers Association (JPGA) visited Ukraine and mooted the idea as the climate is favourable, land is surplus and it could be a centre for export to European countries.
Land was also available at throwaway rates, duty-free imports of capital goods is allowed and Ukraine levies no duty on farm exports to Europe.
"I and another farmer Rajwinder Singh went to Ukraine. We have identified land in Kherson region, where agriculture crops like maize, sunflower, tomato, potato and capsicum is grown and is of high quality," JGPA general secretary Jaswinder Singh Sangha told HT.
"Government controls land holdings there. Farmers from foreign countries are given land on lease and have got the deal," Sangha added.
He added that they had tied-up with a local farmer as it was pre-condition to get land on lease. He added that the timing of crop cultivation in Ukraine suits potatoe growers as they could simultaneously carry on their farming in India too.
"The formalities are expected to be complete by December. Around a dozen farmers would pool the investment and if successful, the technology and the
know-how would be shared with 7,000 other members of the association to initiate the project."
Another factor that works in Ukraine's favour is that the cropping pattern is not as intense as in Punjab.
He added that the capital machinery required for such goods would be imported from India as there are cheap here and there is no import duty on Ukraine on such equipment.