SIALKOT: Punjab Agriculture department has evolved a three year Vegetable Enhancement plan costing Rs 410.87 million to be implemented in 18 districts of the province,including Sialkot.
Under this programme suitable sites for developing 18 plots have been identified in the district where potato would be cultivated on 10 plots while garlic crop would be sown on 8 plots,sources in Agriculture department told APP on Wednesday.
“Promoting vegetable cultivation,reduction in post harvest losses,value addition to field vegetables,tunnel technology, promotion of kitchen gardening,training of farmers are major features of the plan”,he said.
The sole purpose of the project is to enhance vegetable production in urban,semi urban and rural areas through diversification of high value vegetable crops in the Punjab.
Small processing units for value addition would also be set up in main vegetable growing districts,especially for preparation of paste,slice,jam, pickles,powder and dehydration of vegetables for optimum use in the shortage period on cost sharing basis.
In order to lessen the losses a Plastic Bucket Bank will be set up in project districts on 80-20 percent cost sharing (government-growers-retailer) for safe transportation of vegetables from farm to the markets and retailer outlets.
“Plastic Bucket Bank” would issue buckets on cyclical mode under which a farmer and retailer will take 10 buckets for safe transportation from farm to market.Under the plan Small Processing Units will also be provided to vegetable growers and businessman in project districts on 50 percent cost sharing basis through balloting in a transparent way.
Ten tomato paste,pulping units and 10 small processing units for onion, garlic and chilies paste preparation will be provided in top ten producing districts of the project,sources revealed.