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Punjab Farmers are Producing Bio-Enzymes From Kinnow? Know how!

Around a 100 farmers in Punjab, specially in the kinnow belt, have started making BEs from this waste fruit — peel and ‘D’ grade, very small kinnows.

Ayushi Raina
Punjabi Farmer producing bio enzymes from Kinnow
Punjabi Farmer producing bio enzymes from Kinnow

The Kinnow Season has begun in Punjab. However, a lot of these fruit fall to the ground, which farmers regard as a complete waste. However, this falling fruit has the potential to benefit soil, water, air, depleting ground water, water pollution, and general ecosystem.

Not only does it enhance plant health, but it also helps to reduce the indiscriminate use of chemical sprays of fungicides and bacterial diseases on crops, particularly vegetables, tuber crops like potatoes, and cereals. Farmers may pick these fallen fruits from their kinnow fields and use them to make low-cost bio-enzymes (BEs).

Around a 100 farmers in Punjab, particularly in the kinnow region, have begun producing BEs from this waste fruit — peel and 'D' grade, extremely little kinnows.

What are bio-enzymes?

Bio-enzymes are organic solutions created by fermenting organic waste such as different fruits, vegetable peels, and flowers with sugar, jaggery/molasses, and water. Organic waste takes 60-100 days to ferment. Yeast can be employed as a culture to accelerate fermentation and prepare it in 45-50 days. BEs is widely used in our daily life.

Area under fruit crop in Punjab

In Punjab, around 94,000 hectares are under diverse fruit crops, including approximately 40,000 hectares (one lakh acres) under kinnow orchards in Hoshiarpur, Abohar, Fazilka, Mukatsar, and Bathinda. On average, 25-30 tonnes of kinnow are produced per acre, and the state's total production is close to 10-11 lakh tons.

Kinnow is a year-round crop, with the primary harvesting season running from late November to early March, however certain citrus fruit types begin arriving in markets as early as October.

According to horticulture department specialists, about 15-20% (1.5 lakh to 2 lakh tonnes) of total kinnow output falls off the tree before and during harvesting. According to experts, falling fruit is a big issue for kinnow growers in the state since it requires digging out small pits to bury it; otherwise, the fallen fruit rots and invites a fly attack on the good fruit that is still on the trees.

However, some farmers are already utilising waste kinnow to enhance the pH level and soil fertility of their land by producing BEs from it.

BE preparation formula

Farmer Paramjit Singh stated that he purchased 40 plastic drums of 500 litres (a one-time investment) and filled each with 99 kg kinnow, 33 kg jaggery, and 330 litres of water before tightening the lid, which must be loosened for a few seconds every day for 30 days to release the gas produced by the fermentation process. After 30 days, the lid is opened in the same manner every two days for two weeks, and the drum is kept airtight and occasionally opened. 

In three and a half months, the bio-enzymes will be ready.

"We can use it for a whole year as a spray on vegetables and mixed with field irrigation," he continued.

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