In a Horticulture Department conference, Irrigation & Public Health and Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes asked the fruit growers of the State to work together on analogy of cooperative movements so as to overcome their problems. She said that government was aware of their grievances but they need to provide support and valuable suggestions to the State Government for formulating long-term policies and schemes in their favour.

Horticulture Minister said 2.14 lakh hectare area was under horticulture production in the state where as many as 37 species of fruits were being produced. Apple production was contributing immensely in the state’s economy but year after year variation in apple production was a matter of concern. She underlined the need for producing quality apple to increase per hectare apple production, plantation of new species, water management, organic production, modern technologies and better marketing and post harvesting facilities for enabling the growers to compete in international markets.

Stokes said that effective steps had to be taken for increasing area under horticulture and meeting the challenges being posed by global warming. She added that government would accord priority for developing cold stores hub, practice crop diversification and promote organic farming. She urged the farmers and fruit producers to work in coordination with horticulture and agriculture departments for training and technical assistance.

Additional Chief Secretary, Horticulture Dr. P.C. Kapoor gave a presentation on post harvest management, cold chain and harvesting. He said more awareness camps would be organised in the state to benefit the farmers and fruit growers.

Managing Director, HPMC,. J.C. Sharma gave a presentation on post harvest management. Director, Horticulture Dr. Gurdev Singh detailed the various activities of the department.

The farmers and fruit growers from various districts gave their valuable suggestions on the occasion. Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma, MLA Rohit Thakur, office bearers of various organisations and other senior officer were also present. Fruit growers from six districts of the state attended the conference.