Tribune News Service
Solan, January 7
Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar today said the first flower mandi in the state at Parwanoo would help double farmers’ income.
Ten shops have been set up in the first phase and over 100 shops will be set up in the next phase, on which Rs 22 crore will be incurred, he said.
He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating the mandi built at a cost of Rs 2.50 crore at Parwanoo today. “Agriculture and horticulture are the mainstays of the state’s economy on which 70 per cent of the state’s population is dependent. Agriculture as well as its allied sectors contribute nearly 13.62 per cent to the state’s gross domestic produce. As much as 90 per cent of the state’s population reside in villages.”
Kanwar lauded the efforts of the Agriculture Marketing Board during the Covid pandemic and said this had increased the share of agriculture in the state’s GDP from 2 to 3 per cent.
He said Himachal contributed nearly 25 per cent to Delhi markets. He said the second such mandi would be opened at Una and a sum of Rs 260 crore was being incurred on opening new sabzi mandis and maintenance.
He elaborated on the initiatives of his department and announced a reduction of rentals of 10 shops in the newly opened flower mandi to half.
He said a digital sabzi mandi spread over 250 bigha was also being planned for Solan.
He released a booklet on herbal and agricultural products prepared by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Solan, on the occasion.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal said the work to construct an apple mandi at Parwanoo at a cost of Rs 30 crore was in an advance stage.