Thursday, December 29, 2011

Integrated agri-biz model for wasteland in the offing

Fazilka, December 28
The barren waste land owners are likely to get a boost as the Punjab Government (Punjab Agro Industries Corporation), Kirloskar Group and a local private firm (NASA Agro) have entered into an historic agreement to install a Rs 500 crore integrated agriculture business model for wasteland development in the Malwa region of Punjab.

In the project, being installed as Sampuran Agri Venture in village Penchanwali in the Fazilka sub-division, bio-fertilizer shall be produced which would change the barren land into a fertile one. The company shall install a water treatment plant which would make brackish seepage water fit for agriculture purposes.

The Agri Venture shall also install a one MW power generation plant and would make the use of power for running the project. The project would be set up in about 90 acres of land.

"About 3 lakh acres of land has been adversely affected by the brackish water of the seepage drains which terminate at a point between the villages of Chananawala and Sivana of Fazilka sub-division. The most affected villages are Sivana, Kerian, Ramkot and Chananwala and others where the fertile land is turning into barren," claimed Sanjeev Nagpal, Managing Director of NASA Agro. Nagpal said the salt content in the brackish water is alarmingly high and has been ruining the land.

The tripartite agreement was inked in presence of Chief Secretary of Punjab SC Aggarwal, Managing Director Punjab Agro Sanjay Kumar, CMD Kirloskar Group Atul Kirloskar, Chairman Punjab Farmers Commission GS Kalkat, Chairperson CII Punjab Council Kamna Raj Aggarwal, Directors of NASA Agro Sanjeev Nagpal and Sameer Nagpal on December 23 this year.

The project is a major success to revive the Malwa belt which is reeling under innumerable socio-economic problems with its depleted resources, vanishing cultivable land, alkaline soil and un-potable brackish water that is endangering the lives and health of the residents.

"Kirloskar Group under the leadership of Atul Kirloskar, Chairman cum Managing Director, has developed paddy-straw based biogas plant specifically for this region with forward integration to use brackish water for biogas digesters," informed Nagpal.

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