New Delhi: Irrigation and Public Health and Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes has demanded for financial support and technical guidance from Government of India to improve agricultural and horticultural productivity as more than 80 percent population of the State was making its livelihood from these sectors.

Speaking in the 84th Annual General Meeting of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) at New Delhi today, she stressed for technological assistance for improvement in agriculture and horticulture sectors keeping in view the low productivity, climatic changes and other vagaries of nature.

Stating that the State had immense potential for organic farming, she asked for support in boosting the organic farming which would ensure better remuneration to the farmers. She stressed on genetic improvement of indigenous milk cattle and identifying the appropriate varieties of fast growing green fodder for the hilly areas.

Stokes said that Himachal Pradesh was producing the best trout fish in the country and many farmers had taken up trout farming as avocation. She added that ICAR should provide access to appropriate post harvest technology for trout fishes.

Horticulture Minister also urged for financial and technical support for mitigating the vagaries of weather which were destroying the apple crop and ruining economy of the State year after year. She said that climate change had compounded the situation as there were cycle of drought in one year and excess rain and hail in another adding that ICAR should take lead in addressing these issues and building capacities of States to undertake mitigation measures.

She also urged for providing appropriate technologies and practices for improving organic farming in the State as this hill State offers immense potential for organic farming.