Government to accord top priority to horticulture: Bragta

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Shimla, Feb 16 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta today said the government has decided to accord special priority for strengthening the Horticulture sector as it has contributed immensely towards the economic development in the state.

Mr Bragta said about 7,000 hectares of additional area would be brought under horticulture during 2008-09 in the state and a production level of 7.77 lakh metric tonne production achieved for which maximum assistance under Horticulture Technology Mission to be got and it would be implemented in a more effective manner in the state.

Mr Bragta was presiding over a meeting of Horticulture officers to review the schemes under Horticulture Technology Mission and State Plan here today.

He said keeping in view the geo-graphical condition of the state, the horticulture was only a viable means by which the economic development of the people could be ensured and added that there were large scope of employment in this sector.

A Centrally-sponsored scheme HTM was launched in October, 2003 by the then union agriculture minister for sustainable and integrated development of horticulture with a financial assistance of Rs 80 crore during Tenth Five Year Plan which was still continuing and financial assistance of Rs 24 crore has been earmarked by the Central Government for 2007-08. So far Rs 104 crore had been sanctioned under the Mission, Mr Bragta added.

The Minister also directed the district officers to ensure effective implementation of government schemes at village level.

Mr Bragta said private nurseries would also be encouraged to produce root stocks, so that its demand could be met and youth could get job opportunities at village-level.

UNI AS JN NC BD1937

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