Chandigarh: Punjab and Maharashtra on Tuesday agreed on the exchange of technologies and scientific knowledge to increase production of fruits and vegetables.
A delegation led by Maharashtra Horticulture Minister Sandipan Bhumre held a meeting with his counterpart in Punjab, Rana Gurjeet Singh, according to an official statement.
Addressing the meeting, Singh said the farmers of the entire country were currently going through a severe economic crisis.
Only agricultural diversification can get the farmer out of the current economic stress, he said, adding that by producing fruits and vegetables, the farmer can get out of the current crisis.
Informing about the bitter realities of farmers of Punjab, Singh said the farmers of Punjab have been cultivating wheat and paddy for a long time and the groundwater has gone down considerably.
Punjab has a reserve of water for the next 25 years, he said.
He said that the water level has depleted up to 300 feet deep at present.
The crop diversification is the only way to get the farmers out of the crisis.
Singh acknowledged that the state of Maharashtra has achieved a special place in the country in the production of fruits and vegetables.
Punjab and Maharashtra can get mutually benefited by collaboration and learning techniques to increase the production of fruits and vegetables, marketing them and exporting them abroad, he said.
Singh also stressed upon the need to use such herbicides and weedicides that are being used in Europe and the US to control weeds and to ensure maximum yield and quality of vegetables.
Sandipan Bhumre said the state of Maharashtra was impressed with the progress made by Punjab in the production of citrus crops especially Kinnow.
He said that one of the motives behind the delegation's Punjab visit was to get scientific knowledge about the techniques and other methods being used by them to grow citrus crops in Punjab and then to increase the production of these crops in the state of Maharashtra.
At the same time, the Horticulture Minister of Maharashtra invited Singh to visit his state.
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