Himachal to adopt state-of-the-art technology to grow high-quality horticulture plants

The State Government is planning to use state-of-the-art technology to grow high-quality and productive plants in the horticulture sector. The latest technology will increase the survival rate of plants considerably.

Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that Himachal Pradesh has been endowed with a wide range of agro-climatic conditions which has proved a boon for a large number of fruit crops like apple, citrus fruits, mango, apricot, and pear.

He said that the present State Government is committed to promoting horticulture besides increasing the income of the farmers. Several schemes have been initiated and many programs were launched to promote this pivotal sector. World Bank-funded Horticulture Development Project envisages the promotion of productivity, quality, and marketing of horticultural products and fruit production.

The State Government is laying emphasis on adopting new techniques to deal with this problem and improve the horticulture sector. Plantation models of several fruit-producing states are being studied and farmers are being motivated to adopt the latest technology to ensure that the survival rate of plants increases considerably. For this purpose, a delegation led by Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi is on a 6 days foreign tour to Australia under the HP Shiva Project funded by the Asian Development Bank, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the team during its visit observed and studied the modern techniques of screening, testing, cleaning, and maintenance, etc. being adopted in the field of plant health management in Australia during their tour. The team also visited the Strawberry Industry Certification Authority and the Elizabeth Agricultural Institute laboratories in Sydney and discussed modern techniques for nursery registration programs.

Apart from observing the micro-grafting technique in orange cultivation, the citrus pathology program and national citrus repository program were discussed. It is proposed to cover 1800 hectares of land for orange production in the state under the HP SHIVA project with a requirement of about 20 lakh plants.

This is a key initiative of the state government to gain technical knowledge from Australia and utilize it to guide horticulturists in the state for improving the horticulture sector. This will help in preparing high-quality orange plants in the state for the orange orchardists.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that this tour will be instrumental to adopt new technology practiced in Australia to the state so as to increase the production of the horticulturists besides strengthening their economy.

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