Kiwi fruit produced at 8,500 feet in Himachal

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Shimla, Nov 28 (UNI) Another milestone is added in the horticulture sector in Himachal Pradesh with successful cultivation of trans-climatic hybrid fruits in adverse climatic conditions by the progressive farmers of the state.

The delicious Kiwi is now being plucked in the orchards of Patan village, situated at an altitude of 8,500 feet in the Banjar sub-division of Kullu district.

A box of Kiwi produced by Neel Kamal Thakur, a progressive farmer of Banjar valley was presented to Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal here today.

The Chief Minister congratulated the farmer for successfully producing the temperate Kiwi fruit at an altitude of over 8,500 feet. The Bajar valley is suited to sub-tropical fruits, especially apples but Mr Thakur has succeeded in reaping a rich Kiwi harvest in this region.

The Chief Minister pointed out that recently another progressive farmer from the temperate zone of Ghumarwin had successfully got a good yield of apple crop this year. Likewise another farmer from the sub-tropical zone of Kotkhai area cultivated mangoes which were no different in taste and colour than the mangoes grown in specified climatic zones.

Prof Dhumal said that the state was poised to emerge as the leader in horticulture sector and become the 'Fruit Bowl of India' as farmers had started multi-cropping in different climatic zones of the state.

The state government was according priority to strengthen the horticulture sector with a view to motivate farmers to diversify from their traditional cropping practices and go in for multiple cropping, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the marketing infrastructure with connectivity facilities was being strengthened to facilitate growers market their produce locally.

He said that apple happens to be the major income generating crop of the state which was contributing significantly towards the states Gross Domestic Product.

''Now emphasis was being laid on organic fruit cultivation which was gaining popularity,'' he added.

UNI XC-HS DB MP CS1220

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