Punjab Horticulture and Food Processing Minister Fauja Singh Sarari on Monday emphasized the fruit growing farmers to set up food processing units in order to boost their incomes and employment opportunities for people at the local level.
“Aam Aadmi Party Government is putting sincere efforts for the promotion of horticulture and to make the farming business profitable,” he said during a meeting with the representatives of Pathankot Lychee Growers’ Welfare Association.
The Minister said that the Chief Minister has been encouraging farmers to opt for diversification from the traditional crop cycle; and to achieve this purpose, special attention is being given to horticulture by the Government.
Sarari stressed that if the farmers, cultivating fruits like kinnow, Lychee, mango, amla, and guava, prepare and sell juices, murabba, and other edible products from these fruits, it will produce them a gigantic profit.
At the same time, he also issued directions to the officials of the Horticulture Department to explore possibilities to set up the food processing unit with the help of the government.
He said that horticulture farmers should resort to food processing to reduce the wastage of fruits as fallen fruit from trees can be processed and sold at a higher price. Likewise, he also motivated the gardeners to install solar pumps in the gardens and said the best alternative to power shortage is the solar system.
Sarari asked the officials to prepare a roadmap for training the fruit-producing farmers and informing them about government schemes so that the farmers can adopt new techniques. The gardeners also submitted some demands and the Minister assured to fulfill all the genuine demands on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the meeting ended on a positive note and the buoyed growers said that this is the first time that a Minister has called them for a meeting and addressed all their grievances meticulously and also sought suggestions to promote horticulture.