Apple to be brought under Bima Yojna: Bragta

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Shimla, Jan 31 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta today said the Centre had agreed in principle to include apple crop under the Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojna.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had agreed to include apple under the scheme after receiving a letter from state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Mr Bragta said.

Mr Bragta who had handed over the CM's letter to the Union Minister, said the Centre would send a high-level team of experts for discussing the implementation of this scheme at the ground-level.

Urging the Centre to sanction a sum of Rs 150 crore for promotion of herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants in the Western Himalayan region of the state, he said the BJP government had already decided to promote herbal cultivation on scientific lines in remote areas of the state to strengthen rural economy.

The state had received Rs 91.50 crore under the Horticulture Technology Mission during last three years, he said, adding that horticulture revolution had taken place in the state as farmers had diversified from traditional agriculture to floriculture, vegetable production besides brining about six lakh square km of area under protected cultivation.

''Himachal has emerged as the leading state in export of flowers, which are finding its way to various countries,'' Mr Bragta said.

He also requested the Centre to include horticulture activities under the district horticulture plans instead of present practice of district agriculture plans.

''The state's rural economy revolve around horticulture and the people are shifting from traditional agriculture practices to the horticulture cultivation because of introductions of various incentives and suitable climatic conditions of the state,'' he added.

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