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India: Government gives 50% subsidy on a poly house

Against the general perception that agricultural growth has slowed down in Punjab in the past few years, experts at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, are of the view that technology and policies backed by state and central governments still drive agriculture, the 'mother of economic growth'.

Sangrur horticulture department lends all help to farmers of the district who opt for diversification. Besides beekeeping, the department is also promoting installation of poly houses for off-season vegetable cultivation and floriculture.

Horticulture development officer (HDO) Hardeep Singh said, "It depends on the land holding of a farmer, before we suggest to him what subsidiary occupation he should opt for under the diversification scheme. In the case of a small farmer or landless individuals, the department advises them to go in for beekeeping and in case of big farmers the department suggests poly houses."

He said, "The government gives Rs 80,000 as subsidy on maximum of 50 honey bee boxes whose total cost is around Rs 2 lakh. Moreover, PAU gives five-day training to the bee keeping farmers, as well as to those interested in poly houses. Mostly, it is the young farmers who are showing interest in these two occupations."

Talking about poly houses, he said, "The government gives 50% subsidy on a poly house whose actual cost is Rs 33 lakh, per acre. To date, in Sangrur a total of 20 acres of land is under poly houses. Mainly these are in Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh sub-divisions. In poly houses, farmers grow Gerbera flowers, seedless cucumber, yellow and red capsicum. In all poly houses drip irrigation is used by the farmers."

Talking about Gerbera farming, Hardeep Singh said, "Sowing starts in August and plucking starts in January. Around 25,000-26,000 plants are planted in one acre of poly house. The cost of one plant is Rs 35 and total cost comes to Rs 22 lakh. One Gerbera plant gives approximately 20 flowers in a year and the age of one plant is three years. The farmers get Rs 2-6 per stick increases even up to Rs 8 in the marriage season."

Publication date: 9/9/2015



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