Land having guava and banana trees and vineyards will now be considered orchard as per new rules in Punjab.

A decision in this regard was taken as per the provisions of the Punjab Land Reforms (amendment) Act 2017. Punjab Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) Vini Mahajan said in a press statement on Friday that the Act covers two aspects.

The first is an amendment in Section 3(8) of the Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1972. “The definition of an orchard under this Section of the Act did not include land under guava, banana trees and vineyard as an orchard. The definition of orchard would also cover the land under banana, guava trees or under vineyard,” she said.

In order to diversify the base of agricultural production of the state from monoculture of wheat and paddy towards fruits and vegetables, the Punjab government has made an amendment in Section 3(8) of the Act, she added.

This would encourage the production of these crops, thereby promoting diversification of agriculture.

At present guava is the second major fruit crop in the state after kinnow and occupies an area of 8,103 hectares with an annual production of 1,82,089 metric tonnes. With this amendment, guava, banana and vineyard cultivation will also be covered under the set of exemptions provided to orchard cultivators and will give a much needed boost to the government’s drive towards diversification of agriculture.