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India: Grower wins top kinnow grower award for innovative approachA retired army officer-turned-farmer has done the city and the district proud by winning one of the top 'krishi' awards of the country for his innovative technique in kinnow cultivation.
Major Manmohan Singh (retd) received the Krishak Samrat Samman from union minister of state for agriculture and cooperation Tanvir Ahmed in New Delhi on Friday. He was chosen for the award from the north zone.
The award carried a trophy, a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 51,000.
Maj Singh, who has a 17-acre orchard of kinnows at Phriwara village near Ajnala, was picked for breaking established norms and for being instrumental in driving sustainable and innovative farming technologies. His innovative approach has made a positive impact on the agricultural community.
HT had last year highlighted Maj Singh's new system of crop spacing in kinnow cultivation. This spacing known as 'ventilator practice' involves 20x10 feet spacing between kinnow plants, thus sowing 220 plants in one acre.
The net result of this approach was that he got a productivity of 2,400 kg kinnows from an acre this season. The sunlight made available to the inner side of the plant resulted in healthier and bigger-sized fruit and longer life of the orchards.
"I am happy that my services towards the farming community have been noticed. Farming is a hobby to me and I like to take risks in experimenting with new methods of cultivation," Maj Singh told HT here on Sunday as he held his award.
Generally it was thought that kinnow is a crop of Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur districts or could be grown in other parts of the Malwa belt. But the major has proved that the fruit can also be grown in the Majha area. Besides kinnow, the major is into pear and plum cultivation, agro-forestry and turmeric cultivation. He has recently grown sugarcane using the single-bud technique which was until recently only known in the Phagwara belt.
Publication date: 2/25/2013
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