Himachal Government schemes proving boon for horticulture activities
SHIMLA---The effective steps taken by the state government during last ten months have helped in giving boost to the horticulture sector by increasing productivity, profitability and market access to the farmers and fruit growers.
An area of 48,297 square metres has been covered under protected cultivation and 5,75,229 square metres under anti-hail nets under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) in the state during this period. In all, 4820 farmers have been benefited under the Mission by providing subsidy under various components. To promote the mechanization of horticulture activities, assistance on 1115 power operated machines has also been provided to the farmers under this programme.
During this period, 16.84 lakh fruit plants were distributed among farmers out of which five lakh plants were produced in the government nurseries and approximately 4813.41 hectare additional area was brought under horticulture activities.
The mushroom production is being given special emphasis and during last ten months 10,961 MT mushroom was produced in the state. To promote beekeeping, 892 bee colonies have been distributed among the farmers and production of 1009.29 MT honey has been achieved so far.
In order to promote Integrated Pest Management, 137.40 hectare area was brought under bio-control. To combat incidence of pests/diseases in fruit crops, 305.82 MT pesticides involving Rs. 4.62 crores subsidy has been supplied to the farmers.
The state government has also taken effective steps to ensure remunerative prices of their produces to the growers. During this period, 21,195.56 MT 'C' grade fruit valued at Rs. 1589.66 lakh was procured under Market Intervention Scheme.
Rs. 350 lakh have been approved for the Horticulture department during this financial year under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) being implemented in the state. Rs. 175.00 lakh have already been provided to the department as first instalment for carrying out various developmental activities. The state government is also implementing the restructured weather based crop insurance to benefit the farmers and orchardists in 110 Blocks for apple, mango, citrus fruits, plum and peach.
With a view to provide respite to the farmers and horticulturists who suffered losses to the fruit crops due to heavy snowfall, hail and heavy rainsm the state government released Rs. 2.7 crores under SDRF/CRF to the Horticulture department. The farmers will be provided pesticides and other horticulture inputs on subsidized rates.
The World Bank aided Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project of Rs. 1134 crores is being implemented in the state and during this year about 1.12 lakh fruit plants of apple, pear and walnut will be distributed in winters amongst 108 farmer clusters whereas 14,406 plants of mango, litchi, guava and citrus fruits have been sold amongst 28 subtropical clusters in the state under this project.
Training has been imparted to 58 officers under this project to upgrade their knowledge in the field of horticulture. Besides, international experts from the New Zealand also imparted training to 320 horticulture officers and 501 farmers.
The state government has launched new schemes like Pushp Kranti Yojna, Mukhya Mantri Madhu Vikas Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Green House Renovation Scheme and installation of anti-hail nets to give boost up horticulture sector and facilitate the farming community. Beside this, Asian Development Bank aided projects of amounting to Rs. 1688 crores and Rs. 423 crores have also been approved for the state for development of subtropical fruits and mushroom in the state respectively.
The state government has also launched m-kisan programme to facilitate the farming community and so far 6,89,308 farmers have been registered under this scheme to help them in solving their day-to-day farming problems.
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