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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

State govt aims big, seeks Rs. 101 crore for horticulture activities from Centre

Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times   Shimla, March 03, 2014
First Published: 23:43 IST(3/3/2014) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(3/3/2014)

For getting maximum assistance from the Centre, the state horticulture department will soon submit a proposal and seek Rs. 101 crore under projects it would carry out in the state as part of the Centre-funded Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) in the 2014-15 fiscal.

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The department finalised the draft of its proposal on Monday and may submit it to the Centre in a week. Last year, the department had sought `85 crore under MIDH.

The project director of Horticulture Technology Mission (MIDH's previous name), ID Gupta, said, “We are hopeful that we will get maximum assistance so that we can give fillip to horticultural activities (in the state).”

He said the Centre would approve the final budget under MIDH after receiving the proposal and a meeting in this regard was scheduled for March 18.  Under the proposal, three major components - research and development, post-harvest management and production - have been covered and assistance has been sought for them, Gupta said.

The final proposal says that more emphasis would be laid on post-harvest management system, in which the state lags behind in infrastructure. Nearly 15 % of the assistance sough from the Centre has been earmarked for post-harvest management, including cold storage, apple grading and packing units.

For research and development, the state has sought Rs. 5 crore under MIDH. “This component will cover all research activities at the university level,” said a senior horticulture official.

The remaining Rs. 80 crore have been proposed to be spent on production activities. This component covers nurseries and plantation, technology and other horticultural activities.

Last year, of the Rs. 85 crore sought by it under MIDH, the state government had received only Rs. 32 crore. “This time, we are hopeful that the Centre will grant us assistance of over Rs. 60 crore at least,” said a senior horticulture official.


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