Govt gives top priority to horticulture sector: Agri Minister

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Hyderabad, Jul 1 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy today said the State government was giving top priority to the horticulture sector as it was identified as one of the growth sectors in the state.

Addressing the media after releasing the action plan of the Horticulture Department with an outlay of Rs 744 crore for the year 2008-09, he said the Horticulture sector was contributing 5.38 per cent of the Gross State's Domestic Product and it would increase in the future.

Claiming that Andhra Pradesh stands first in the production of mango, sweet orange, papaya, oilpalm and chillies and second in tomato and coriander in the country, he said the government was taking steps to export fruits, including mangoes and papaya, and flowers to foreign countries.

He said the State government during the last four years had spent Rs 1,096 crore through the Horticulture department to increase production of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

The Minister claimed that oilpalm cultivation was developed in 73,000 hectares in the state during the last four years and during the current financial year it was proposed to cover an additional area of 20,000 hectares with an outlay of Rs 39 crore.

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