Strengthening value chains for fruits and vegetables in Punjab: Alternative for faster growth in agriculture

The paddy-wheat monoculture induced a decelerating agricultural trend in Punjab which has been felt in the form of stagnation in output, deteriorating productivity, environmental degradation, declining farm incomes, depeasantization and suicides by farmers. Shifting away from rice and wheat which are the most water intensive crops of the state and devoting more area under fruits and vegetables will help in increasing farm incomes, overall agricultural output and conserving water resources. In spite of increasing area under cultivation, production and consumption of fruits and vegetables Punjab faces many challenges which hinder the shift away from rice-wheat monoculture towards high value crops. Fruits and vegetables being highly perishable in nature require cold storage, special processing, transportation and marketing infrastructure. These have a bearing on the volatility of supply and hence prices of end products affecting the various stakeholders involved in the value chain. In light of the discussion above an in-depth analysis of issues affecting value chains of fruits and vegetables in Punjab is presented in this paper.

ContributionShayequa Zeenat Ali, Research Associate, CIPT, New Delhi