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Punjab to explore soy farming

Chandigarh, Sep 19 (Calcutta Tube) Argentina’s success in soy farming has prompted the Punjab government to explore that option for crop diversification, keeping in view the huge demand of soy oil in India, an official said Saturday quoting Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Badal, now on a visit to Argentina as member of a central delegation from the agriculture ministry, said given India’s rising soy oil requirement and its dependence on imports, Punjab farmers could go in for soy cultivation.

Argentina Agriculture Minister Julian Andres Dominguez said his country was a big grower of groundnut and soy, and it had a major share in India’s soy oil imports. He said that in the first seven months this year, India has imported soy oil worth $1.4 billion from Argentina alone.

Sonalika brand of tractors from Punjab, being manufactured in Hoshiarpur district, 140 km from here, are already being exported to Argentina and are popular with farmers in that country.

Badal also met Simirpal Singh, who hails from Amritsar and is managing a 30,000-hectare farm of groundnut, soy and corn farming for a Singapore-based agro-company.

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