Published On:October 4 2008
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Punjab govt to launch Rs 550-mn tunnel project

Lahore: Punjab government is going to launch a Rs 550 million project under which 4600 walk-in and shallow tunnels will be distributed amongst the farmers interested in growing off-season vegetables in the province.

Sources in provincial Agriculture Department said that it would be a two-year project aimed at promoting tunnel technology for growing off-season vegetables.

Under the project, farmers having less than 12 and half acres of land would be given 2300 walk-in (high) and 2300 shallow tunnels through out the province. 'Farmers interested in the project would have to bear 50 per cent of the cost of tunnels they would opt while 50 per cent cost would be borne by the Punjab government,' they added.

They maintained that in the first year 1000 tunnels each of walk-in and shallow technology would be distributed among the farmers, while in the second year 1300 each of these would be given to farmers.

'Hopefully the scheme would be launched through advertisement soon after the Eid holidays and farms to apply for the tunnels would be available with the District Agriculture Officers,' the sources maintained. Walk-in tunnels are used to grow vegetables like capsicum, red chillies, cucumber, tomato etc while the shallow tunnels are used to grow melon and other such things.

Regarding the eligibility for applying the scheme, the sources said that the applicant should be a vegetable grower and have less than 12 and half acres of land. Farmers would prepare the whole tunnels first and then approach the department for getting the tunnel inspected and after inspection the committee would issue the cheques of 50 per cent cost of the tunnel to the farmers.

They further said that vegetables are grown in Punjab on 94,000 acres of land and every district would be allotted number of tunnels according to the area under vegetable cultivation.

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