With a view to promote diversification of agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) honoured 20 farmers from Punjab excelling in fruit cultivation. The award ceremony was a part of a three-day group discussion of ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits (AICRP) that concluded in Ludhiana on Sunday.
The award was given in recognition of achievement towards adoption of scientific techniques in growing fruit crops like guava, grapes, kinnow and pear. Diversification from traditional crops such as wheat and paddy to fruits yields better returns for farmers while meeting the balanced nutritional requirements of people at large.
Some of the recipients of the awards are Harsimron Singh Sandhu-Hoshiarpur, Gurraj Singh Virk-Kotkapura, Malvinder Singh Sidhu-Patiala, JS Shergil-Hoshiarpur and Major Manmohan Singh-Amritsar.
During the discussion, these farmers urged ICAR and PAU to prevail upon Central and the state governments to intervene in domestic and export marketing and encourage setting up of processing facilities for fruits and vegetables in the state.
The farmers also called for developing regional package of practices keeping in view the specific zonal soil and climatic profile of the region to boost resource efficiencies.
The AICRP is a mechanism by ICAR under National Agricultural Research System (NARS) for testing and recommending the location and need-based technologies depending on the ago-climatic conditions.