Shimla : A one-day conference was organized at Hotel Holiday Home here on Tuesday with the objective of empowering farmers, horticulturists and agricultural entrepreneurs by making them aware of various banking schemes.
Organized under the World bank funded Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HPHDP), this conference was attended by the officers of Horticulture Department, HPMC, Marketing Board. various Banks and the members of clusters formed under HPHDP and other farmers organizations.
Addressing the inaugural session of the conference, Secretary Horticulture Amitabh Awasthi said that the Rs. 1066 crore horticulture development project was heralding a new revolution in the field of horticulture in the high altitude areas of Himachal.
Under this project, production of temperate fruits, especially apple and kernels, was being promoted at a large scale and in a scientific way, he added.Amitabh Awasthi said, “the project covers all aspects from seed to market i.e. from plantation to plant care, irrigation, storage, value addition, processing and marketing.
Active participation of gardeners is also being ensured in this entire chain of horticulture sector”.The Secretary Horticulture said that 30 lakhs apple saplings had been imported under this project and these were being distributed to the horticulturists at subsidized rates.
He said that a target had been set to distribute about 20 lakhs saplings by the end of this year. These plants would increase per hectare production of apples in Himachal and their quality would also be high.Amitabh Awasthi said that besides HPHDP, horticulture department had also started HPSHIVA project for the subtropical and tropical regions of Himachal Pradesh. Production of fruits like litchi, guava and lemon varieties were being promoted under this project in 7 districts of the state.
Amitabh Awasthi urged the farmers and horticulturists of the state to take benefits of these projects. Appreciating the initiatives of the one-day conference, secretary horticulture said that this would enable farmers and horticulturists to take maximum benefits of various banking schemes.
Earlier, HPHDP Project Director Sudesh Mokta welcomed the Chief Guest, other Resource Persons and all the participants and detailed about the various activities and achievements organized under the project. He said that 60 to 65 percent of the work of the project had been completed so far.
R.S. Amar, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, Dr. SKK Mishra, Chief General Manager, NABARD, SS Negi from State Level Bankers Committee, other senior bank officers and Agriculture Insurance Company officer GC Raju gave detailed information about various schemes.
HPHDP team leader Dr. Prabal Chauhan apprised about various activities, whereas, Sandeep Kumar conducted the programme.Dr. R.K. Pruthi, Director, Horticulture Department, Hitesh Azad, General Manager, HPMC and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.