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Rs 100 crore pilot project to strengthen horticulture economy in HP

The spokesman said Rs 100 crore would be spent in the two-year long pilot project in identified villages and about 500 families would be connected with the horticultural activities

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

The Horticulture department of Himachal Pradesh is making all out efforts for effective implementation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded HP Shiva Pilot Project to make HP a horticulture state and strengthen the economy of fruit growers.

An official spokesman here said the pilot project would be implemented in four districts of lower Himachal, in which Bilaspur, Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur. About 17 groups have been formed for implementation of the project in the identified districts, under which four groups in Bilaspur, five groups in Kangra, six groups in Mandi and two groups in Hamirpur have been formed. 10 hectare land has been included in one group.

Under the project, fruit bearing saplings would be planted in 170 hectare area in the identified districts.

The spokesman said Rs 100 crore would be spent in the two-year long pilot project in identified villages and about 500 families would be connected with the horticultural activities.

A target of planting 2.50 lakh fruit bearing sapling has been fixed under the project. In which orange, litchi, pomegranate, guava and other fruit bearing saplings would be planted and the Horticulture department prepared the land for plantation. Saplings of various species would be planted in the month of July and August.

He said the priority would be given to development of those areas where production of fruit does not take place or where farmers have stopped farming due to wild animals. The main project of HP Shiva Project would begin after the success of the pilot project from 2021-22, with an expenditure of proposed Rs 1000 crore. About 25,000 families would be linked to horticultural activities in the first phase of the project.

The spokesman said the state government has taken several steps in interest of the horticulturists, under which a 12.50 lakh hectare meter anti hail net was made available for protecting the crops. For pollination in apple orchards, 46265 beehive boxes have been provided to the farmers. About 225 metric tons insecticide was made available at subsidized rate for protection of crop from insects. Training was also provided to horticulturists. Special training was being given for packaging of apple, cherry and stone fruit. About 3.5 crore boxes were made available for packaging of fruits. Besides this, for procuring fruit, 8.3 metric ton strawberry was purchased.

According to Horticulture minister, Mahender Singh Thakur, the main objective of HP Shiva project was to develop Himachal Pradesh as a fruit state to strengthen the economy of the people of the state. So far horticulture activities are being practiced in 25 percent area of the state,” he said.