Horticulture meet of four hill states in Shimla tomorrow

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Shimla, Jun 11 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh is organising a conference of horticulture ministers of four states of HP, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Arunachal in Shimla tomorrow to press for a separate horticulture policy by the centre for these hill states.

''It is the idea of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to have this conference as he has always talked about regional cooperation.

It is the first such effort and we will try to take up vital issues which concern all the hill states,'' state Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta told mediapersons here.

To begin with only four states are doing this exercise (these four are the ones clubbed by central government also for various funding patterns), but we intend to expand this cooperation to other North Eastern states also, which may be facing the same problems in horticulture sector,'' he said.

Mr Bragta said the ministers would hold discussions on need for separate horticulture policy for the hill states, trans Himalayan Development Authority for hill states and inclusion of horticulture produce in the National Crop Insurance Scheme.

Besides, the issue of illegal charging of commission from fruit growers of hill states in Delhi resulting in huge losses to all the states, amendment to the Relief Manual in line with problems faced by farmers and review of provisions in Horticulture Mission would also come up for discussion, he added.

''We can take up issues strongly, if we move collectively in the interest of hill states,'' he said.

The Horitculture Minister said Horticulture Ministers, Dilabar Mir from Jammu and Kashmir, Trivender Singh Rawat from Uttaranchal and Tsering Gyurma (Principal Advisor to CM and Parliamentary Secretary) from Arunachal Pradesh would take part in tomorrow conference, which will also have participation of officials from the four states.


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