Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that state government is chalking out a pragmatic strategy to launch Kinnauri Apple as a Himachali Brand Product by mid September this year in Delhi and added that Future Group and Associates have come up with a proposal to market agriculture and horticulture produce of the state in the 250 Big Bazar outlets across the country soon. He was speaking in a meeting held for discussing about the proposal submitted by the Future Group and Associates here today.

Chief Minister said that organic produce was in great demand across the globe and added that farmers of the State were adopting organic cultivation therefore their produce could compete in the international markets which was being dominated by China at present. He said that Pangi area could be promoted as an organic produce belt and the agriculture produce of the region could find markets in Europe and America where organic products were in huge demand.

Prof Dhumal said that Big Bazar had offered a special platform for Himachali products by dedicating detailed space in their showrooms nationwide to popularize them on a large scale. He said that the group had submitted an elaborate proposal for marketing Potato, Garlic, Vegetables, Apple and even Handicrafts of the State. He said that this would address the marketing problems being faced by the farmers of the State by offering them larger platform for selling their produce. He said that the Group would also interact with the farmers and would acquaint them about innovative techniques to boost the yield to meet the requirements of their outlets. He said that these outlets were popular in the country among the consumers and had immense potential for marketing which could benefit the farmers of the state in a big way.

Chief Minister suggested that Floriculture should be included in the marketable products to be sold in the outlets and added that best quality flowers were being produced by the farmers of the state which were in demand too. He said that an Apex Body headed by the Chief Secretary would be constituted to work out the implementation of the proposal submitted by the group. He said that Principal Secretaries and senior officers of Agriculture, Horticulture and Tourism departments would also be the members of the Body. He directed the Chief Secretary to finalize the Members of the Body soon and speed up the implementation part by identifying five to seven marketable products within two weeks and developing focused project plans within eight weeks so that results could come up within six months.

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