Shimla, May 29: Each and every state of our country wants a comprehensive development which will further flourish the economy. However, to develop any of the states the government firstly will have to strengthen the farmers. Himachal Pradesh is on the same path as it has decided to promote cultivation of vegetables, especially off-season, in a bigger way by setting up its centres of excellence.
Notably, the state government has taken this vital decision to set up centres of excellence with an aim to provide good quality of seeds to farmers, to spread information about new technologies and to strengthen the economic condition of the farmers by increasing the production of agriculture produce.
Himachal Pradesh by putting up centres of excellence will majorly stress on the promotion of production of off-season vegetables and farmers are having better and fruitful results. In this fiscal, there is a budgetary provision of Rs 484 crore for the promotion of agriculture. Interestingly, Agriculture and its related sectors contribute approximately 15 percent in the State Gross Domestic Product.
With the collaboration of Japan International Agency (JAICA), the Himachal Pradesh Crop Diversification Promotion Project of Rs 321 crore is being implemented in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Mandi, Kangra and Una districts.The aim of the project includes improving irrigation facility, connecting fields with roads and helping farmers to adopt organic farming. Under the project, 210 small-irrigation schemes, 147 connected roads and construction of 37 storage centres would be completed.
Under this huge project, 210 small irrigation schemes, 147 connected roads and construction of 37 storage centres would be completed. The farmers are also been given 85 percent of subsidy on the construction works. Besides, they are provided 50 percent subsidy for small lift irrigation scheme and to purchase pumping machinery. The state government has set a target of building at least 47,000 poly-houses and 2,150 sprinkler and drip irrigation units till the year 2018.
According to the government agencies, vegetable cultivation in Himachal Pradesh, especially off-season, has increased the state’s annual production to over 1.4 million tonnes, and taken its annual revenue well over Rs 2,500 crores. Therefore, Himachal has also got national commendation by getting the Krishi Karmanya Award for the consecutive three years in 2016. However, Himachal Pradesh is also a major producer of tomato, capsicum, cucumber and cabbage.