The State Government has prepared two mega projects capable of transforming the economy and benefitting the entire population of the hill state. One of the projects is dedicated to double the farmer's income through water conservation and another regarding promotion of sub-tropical horticulture in lower hills of the State, which would be posed for external funding at the earliest. This was stated by the Irrigation and Public Health and Horticulture Minister Mahender Singh Thakur while presiding over the meeting of senior officers of the Irrigation and Public Health and Horticulture Department here today.Shri Mahender Singh Thakur said that at present only an area of 81394 hectares was under Subtropical fruits which come to only 34 per cent of the total area under the fruit cultivation in the State. He said keeping this in view and to encourage the 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 about Rs 800 crore first phase of this Project would be posed for funding by external agencies such as BRICS and ADB etc. through the Government of India.
Shri Thakur said that under this project planting material would be sourced from reputed and reliable sources such as ICAR Institute, University Farmer and reputed private sector nurseries located within and outside the country. He said that same would be developed in the departmental nurseries and distributed to the farmers. He said that in addition bud wood 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.The Minister 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. Apart from it, effective post harvesting management and marketing facilities would also be created for benefit of the farmers, he added.Shri Thakur said that, in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister, the State Government was endeavoring to double in income of farmers of the State. He said that for this, a project for doubling the Farmer's Income through Water Conservation has also been prepared by the Government.
He said that first Phase worth about 110 million US Dollar has been prepared and would be posed for external funding through the Government of India. He said that main thrust of this project would be on conservation of water for its effective use of irrigation. He said that this in return would help the farmers to go for cultivation of cash crops and lessen their dependency on nature for irrigation.The Minister said that special emphasis would be laid on water conservation in those areas which were drought prone and received less rain. He said that latest technologies would be adopted for water conservation and recharging of natural water sources under this project. He directed the officers of the Department to effectively pursue both these projects with the Government of India s that they could be implemented at the earliest.Chief Secretary Shri Vineet Chawdhary said that the projects would prove to be a boon to the farmers of the State who would be promoted to go for cash crop cultivation to increase their income.Additional Chief Secretary Finance Dr Srikant Baldi, Principal Secretary Horticulture Shri J.C. Sharma, Principal Secretary Irrigation and Public Health Shri Devesh Kumar, Engineer-in-Chief Irrigation and Public Health Shri Anil Kumar Bahri, Director Horticulture Dr M.S. Rana and other senior officers were present on the occasion among others.