The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, May 31
Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, on Wednesday, asked the officials of Agriculture Department, Punjab Mandi Board and Punjab Agro Export Corporation to explore the feasibilities for setting up a processing plant in chilli belt of district Ferozepur, while directing them to furnish a report in this regard in a month.
During the meeting with the officials and chilli cultivators here at the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, Kultar Singh Sandhwan said that the chilli crop is being cultivated on 40,000 acres of land in this belt of Ferozepur, which will reduce state dependency on Mexico, the largest chilli producing country. Hence, it is the duty of the state government to set up a chilli processing plant in the region. With this facility, the chilli of Punjab, which is sold at Jaipur (Rajasthan) and comes back to the market in Amritsar, could be processed here and supplied for domestic consumption.
Speaker asked the officials to explore feasibility to provide facilities such as processing plant and dryer to parch the chillies, research centre to develop new varieties and cold storage chain. He said that he would review status after a month.
To encourage farmers for crop diversification, he asked General Manager, Punjab Agro Export Corporation Ranbir Singh to involve farmers while fixing the price of chillies. He also admired farmers for forming a group to sale chillies on its own. He encouraged other farmers to take guidance from these path breaker farmers.
Similarly, he asked Secretary Punjab Mandi Board Amrit Gill to rejuvenate mandi yards on priority basis. He said that these markets have been made for the farmers, so optimal usage of these Mandis by farmers should be ensured instead of giving priority to the traders.
MLA Guru Harsahai Fauja Singh Sarari, MLA Ferozepur City Ranbir Singh, MLA Dharamkot Davinderjit Singh Ladi Dhos, MLA Zira Naresh Kataria, MLA Faridkot Gurditt Singh Sekhon, Punjab Agro Export Corporation Chairman Mangal Singh, Secretary Horticulture Arshdeep Singh Thind and Director Shailender Kaur and Chilli farmers Hardeep Singh, Balwinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh were present during the meeting.