About 500 families to be connected with horticulture under HP Shiva Pilot Project

Shimla: To make Himachal Pradesh a horticulture state and to strengthen the economy of the State with horticulture through Asian Development Bank funded HP Shiva Pilot Project.  Horticulture Department is making all out efforts for effective implementation of project.

HP Shiva Pilot project would be implemented in four districts of lower Himachal, in which Bilaspur, Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur. About 17 groups have been formed for implementation of the project in the identified districts, under which four groups in Bilaspur, five groups in Kangra, six groups in Mandi and two groups in Hamirpur have been formed. 10-hectare land has been included in one group. Under the project fruit bearing sapling would be planted in 170-hectare area in the identified districts.  

Under HP Shiva Pilot project, Rs. 100 crores would be spent in the identified villages. About 500 families would be connected with the horticultural activities under the pilot project, which would be going on for two years. A target of planting 2.50 lakh fruit bearing sapling has been fixed under the project. In which orange, litchi, pomegranate, guava and other fruit bearing saplings would be planted and Horticulture Department has prepared the land for plantation. Saplings of various species would be planted in the month of July and August.

Priority would be given for development of those areas where production of fruit does not take place. Besides this, priority would be given to those areas where farmers have stopped farming due to wild animals and for economic upliftment of people of such areas, they would be associated with horticultural activities.

The main project of HP Shiva Project would begin after the success of the pilot project from 2021-22, with an expenditure of proposed Rs. 1000 crore. About 25 thousand families would be linked to horticultural activities in the first phase of the project.

Horticulture Minister Mahender Singh Thakur said that the main objective of HP Shiva project was to develop Himachal Pradesh as fruit State to strengthen the economy of the people of the State.  He said that so far horticulture activities were being practiced in 25 percent area of the State. He said that under the project such areas have covered where people were no more practicing farming.