Draft of Himachal Pradesh’s first horticulture policy by next month

Draft of Himachal Pradesh’s first horticulture policy by next month

2022-05-23 23:35:45

Tribune News Service

Subhash Rajta

Shimla, May 23

The hill state is all set to get its first horticulture policy, the draft of which will be ready by the end of next month. Sources say the policy will facilitate growers in a big way and remove impediments in the way of making the state the “fruit bowl of the country”.

Amitabh Awasthi, Secretary, Horticulture, said, “Once ready, the draft will be put into public domain to seek suggestions/objections. We broadly know what stakeholders want as we have already had interactive sessions with them.” He said the major thrust would be on making horticulture tech-oriented. “The idea is to make the whole system transparent and accessible to all horticulturalists. Everything they need to know will be put on the department’s website,” said Awasthi, adding it would help reduce discretionary powers of officials, which often hindered the timely delivery of services to fruit growers.

Meanwhile, the work on a horticulture census is also in progress. “Its findings will broadly shape the policy. We are expecting the survey to be over soon,” said Awasthi.

Horticulturalists are seeing the move a better-late-than-never development. “It is unfortunate that despite the sector being one of the major contributors to the state’s economy, there is no policy for its growth,” said Deepak Singha, a fruit grower.

Prakash Thakur, former vice-chairman, HPMC, said, “The better option would have been the setting up of a horticulture development board, comprising all stakeholders like horticulturalists, government and scientists.”

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Source by [himachalpradeshtourism.org]

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