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Kandhi Peach growers show the Way to distressed farming community of Punjab

June 10, 2018 10:02 PM

Punjab News Express/Verinder Sareen
NAWANSHAHR: Peach farmers in Kandhi part of Balachaur have shown the path to the distressed farming community in the area by presenting a diversified model of agriculture. These farmers have adopted fruit production as the area is rain-fed and irrigation facilities leave much to be required due to deep underground water-table.   

Being a sub-mountainous area, the climate of the Kandi is more conducive to Peach farming due to the presence of long duration of chilly climate required for this fruit crop. Kehar Singh of village Bachhauri, a peach grower, is just elated due to handsome price his one and half acre peach farming has fetched him this season. The six year old 150 plants of his peach orchard have fetched him Rs 3 lakh. Sharing his experience with media persons, he told that traditional farming was not profitable profession in this Kandi belt due to deep table of underground water. “But as a fruit grower, I am getting a handsome remuneration for my crop, ” he said. And nearby peach farmers, Gurdev Singh of Bachhauri, Parkash Ram of Phirni Majara, and Joginder Singh of Mandhiani echoed Kehar Singh’s views. They said that they too were getting more profit from peach than from other traditional crops.

Assistant Director Horticulture, Dinesh Kumar adds that peach farming needs well drained loamy soils and Kandi belt soil in Balachaur, is most conducive to growing this fruit crop. “Due to this, many farmers have taken to sowing this crop. Already an approximate 150 hectares of land is under Peach farming in this area, ” he said. Terming Phirni Majara, Tapparian Ranewal, Sahdra, Bhannu, Bachhauri and Mojowal Majara of block Saroya in Balachaur as a cluster of peach orchards, he said that the growers, who sold their crop on their own, fetched a profit of Rs. 80000 to one lakh per annum per acre.

Horticulture Development Officer Rajesh Kumar said that due to non availability of other fruit crops in those day, peach crop has high demand in the market. Describing the role of horticulture department, he said that “we guided the farmers how to pluck the fruit along with its grading and packaging so that fruit could attract more price in market”. He disclosed that as ‘Partap’ variety of peach that have white pulp has been very much in demand in Delhi market, it has fetched good profit than other varities. He said that some fruit growers like to sell crop on lease after its ripening while others like to sell it themselves. “This year the plants have bulk peach fruit adding more to the income of the farmers, ” he said.

Another Horticulture expert, Jagdish Singh Kahma said that out of 150 hectares of land under Peach fruit, 80 percent have grown Shaan-e-Punjab variety that has much demand in local market while ‘Early Gland’ and ‘Partap’ have been grown in rest of the area. It takes two years for a peach plant to bear fruit. And in the intervening period, one could sow pulses and other vegetables in these fields, said the expert. A peach tree gives quality fruit after an age of three years and one tree gives upto 70 kg of fruit per annum. He said that to get a good yield, one must keep in mind the thrust points for up keep of the plants such as pruning, thinning of fruits and irrigation at the time of ripening.  

          Assistant director Dinesh Kumar said that the Kandi belt has a potential of big cluster for peach fruit that would be helpful in facilitating the fruit growers with more and easy marketing.

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