What is in news : Punjab farmers are creating bio-enzymes from kinnow fruit wastes
What are bio-enzymes:
Bio-enzymes are organic solutions produced through fermentation of organic waste including various fruits, vegetable peels and flowers, by mixing in sugar, jaggery/molasses and water. It takes 60-100 days to ferment organic waste. To fasten the fermentation, yeast can be used as culture to prepare it in 45-50 days.
Area under fruit crop in Punjab
- In Punjab, around 94,000 hectares are under various fruit crops including around 40,000 hectares (one lakh acres) under kinnow orchards in Hoshiarpur, Abohar, Fazilka, Mukatsar, Bathinda areas. On an average, 25-30 tonnes of kinnow are produced per hectare and nearly 10-11 lakh tonnes is the total production of the state.
- Kinnow is a year-long duration crop and the main harvesting period is from November-end to March, but some varieties of citrus fruit start coming into the markets in October. Horticulture department experts say nearly 15-20 per cent (1.5 lakh to 2 lakh tonnes) of the total kinnow production falls from the tree before and during the harvesting period.
- Experts say the fallen fruit is a major challenge for kinnow farmers in the state as one needs to dig up small pits to bury them, otherwise the fallen fruit rot and invite a fly attack on the healthy fruit still on the plants.
- But now, some farmers are using this waste kinnow to improve the pH level and soil fertility of their land by making BEs from this waste fruit.
Formula to prepare BEs
- Paramjit Singh said he purchased 40 plastic drums having 500 litres capacity each (a one-time investment) to which he added 99 kg kinnow, 33 kg jaggery and 330 litres water in each and tightened the lid, which needs to be loosened up for a few seconds every day for 30 days to release the gas due to fermentation process.
- After 30 days, the lid is opened in the same manner on a gap of two days for two weeks and then the drum is kept air-tight and opened occasionally. The bio-enzymes are finally ready in three and half months.