SIALKOT: The provincial agriculture department has chalked out a plan to promote guava fruit cultivation in selected districts of the province.
The concept of the programme was to expand cultivation of guava fruit on large scale. If successful, the programme would be replicated in other districts of the Punjab.
Dried fruit unit to be installed in Swat
The agriculture officials said that under the plan, demonstration blocks of guava plants over 10 acres of land will be developed at tehsil level in Sialkot, Lahore, Narowal, Gujranwala and Hafizabad districts for the guidance of growers.
They added the agriculture department would extend full cooperation and necessary assistance to growers for protection of guava farms from pest attacks in these districts.
Guava is a sweet and delicious fruit cultivated in the tropical climates. This seasonal fruit is round or pear-shaped and is light green, yellow or maroon in colour when it ripens. It has a white or maroon flesh, depending on its type, and has small hard seeds enveloped in its soft, sweet pulp.
It is mostly eaten raw or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies. This popular fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. Guava is a good source of energy, dietary fiber, and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, folate, thiamine, and riboflavin. It also contains essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
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Meanwhile, the agriculture department advised the farmers to start wheat cultivation in arid areas immediately to get better yield.
A spokesperson of the agriculture department said farmers should cultivate approved varieties of wheat in arid areas, including Chakwal-50, NARC-2009, PARC-2009, Dharabi-2011, while in irrigated areas, wheat varieties like Sehar-2006, Lasani-2008, Faisalabad-2008, AARI-2011, Punjab-2011, Millat-2011, NARC-2011, Shafaq-2006, Fareed-2006, Meraj-2008 and Aas-2011 should be cultivated.
The farmers should use seed graders before cultivating wheat, so that healthy and quality seed could be sown it plays a pivotal role in getting bumper yield, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2017.