Himachal Pradesh govt prepares 2 projects for doubling farm income

By Times Of India on 28 Feb 2018 | read
SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government has prepared two mega projects — one dedicated to double farmers’ income through water conservation and another for promotion of sub-tropical horticulture in lower hills of the state. At present, only 81,394 hectares were under subtropical fruits, which come to only 34% of the total area under fruit cultivation in the state.
Irrigation and public health and horticulture minister Mahender Singh Thakur said that to encourage farmers to adopt fruit cultivation, the state government has prepared an ambitious project for promotion of sub-tropical horticulture in lower hills of the state. He said that for the first phase of this project, costing about Rs 800 crore, funds would be sought from agencies such as BRICS and ADB, etc. through the government of India.

He further said that under this project planting material would be sourced from reputed and reliable sources such as ICAR institute, university farms and private nurseries within and outside the country. Thakur said that the same would be developed in the departmental nurseries and distributed among farmers. The minister said that in addition budwood banks and demonstration orchards of improved varieties of sub-tropical fruits would be established in government nurseries for further multiplication of improved planting material for distribution to farmers. He said that commercial production of vegetable and flowers, both in open fields as well as under protective structures, would be promoted under the proposed project.

Thakur said that a project for doubling farmers’ income through water conservation has also been prepared by the government. He said that the main thrust of this project would be on conservation of water for its effective use in irrigation. He added that this in return would help farmers to go in for cultivation of cash crops and lessen their dependency on nature for irrigation. He said that latest technologies would be adopted for water conservation and recharging of natural water sources under this project.