In a bid to elevate the horticulture sector in Himachal Pradesh, the state government is set to implement the Cluster Development Program (CDP), which promises to bring new dimensions to the field. During a meeting of the National Horticulture Board and Himachal Pradesh State Agricultural Marketing Board, Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi highlighted the significance of branding and marketing in accordance with the quality of the state’s horticulture products.

Himachal Pradesh boasts a rich variety of fruits, including apples, plums, peaches, pears, and citrus fruits, which have gained recognition both nationally and internationally. The Kinnauri apple, in particular, has established itself as a prominent brand. Acknowledging the reputation of these products, the state government aims to emphasize branding and marketing strategies that align with the high quality of Himachal Pradesh’s horticulture offerings.

Under the cluster development program, a dedicated agency will address the queries and concerns of farmers, providing them with the necessary support. The Himachal Pradesh State Agricultural Marketing Board has been appointed as the cluster development agency to examine various aspects of the program. The Horticulture Department will serve as the nodal agency for implementation, collaborating closely with the National Horticulture Board. The Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation will act as the implementing agency, focusing on the development of nurseries, packhouses, cold storage facilities, processing units, and collection centers. This comprehensive approach aims to converge various programs and initiatives, while also ensuring that farmers receive knowledge on modern techniques and practices to enhance their income.

During the meeting, Chirag Jain, Partner at Grant Thornton, delivered a presentation on the cluster development program. He expressed optimism about its potential success in Himachal Pradesh, highlighting the benefits it could bring to the state. The program will provide farmers with crucial information through the CDP Suraksha Online Monitoring Portal, keeping them informed about the benefits they can avail of.