In a first, quarantine facility for imported horticulture crops to come up in Uttarakhand
The Uttarakhand government has started working on making a quarantine facility --- spread over 20 acres -- for imported high-value horticulture crops.
The objective of the facility is to prevent the spread of any diseases from these imported crops to other native plants.
Subodh Uniyal, minister for agriculture and horticulture in the hill state, said that the Central government has asked the state government to find a suitable plot of land, where the facility can be built.
“This is a first for the state. We have written to the district magistrates (DMs) of Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar to look for a plot of land, where the post-entry quarantine facility can be built. A Central government team will conduct an inspection within two weeks to survey the chosen land,” said Uniyal.
The minister said not only imported crops and agriculture produce for Uttarakhand, but for other states would also be kept at the soon-to-be-built facility before they were distributed among farmers.
“Imported high-value horticulture crops will be kept in the facility for a year, as researchers will study these plants for any diseases following which they will be distributed among farmers. The researchers will study various factors such as how a plant reacts to climatic conditions, soil, temperature etc,” added Uniyal.
Rajbir Singh, joint secretary, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, wrote to the principal secretary, horticulture, Uttarakhand, on September 4 about a suitable plot of land for the facility. He stated that the National Seeds Corporation (NSC) had informed that the University of Horticulture and Forestry at Bharsar in Pauri Garhwal had agreed to allot 20 hectares (ha) to build the facility.
“NSC’s proposal involves an unproductive cost due to the undulating and hilly terrain…” the letter said.
“A four-member Central team will visit Dehradun soon to explore the possibilities of an alternate site and discuss the facility’s cost implications that will be borne by the state government,” it added.