Himachal Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes on Thursday asked her department to explore possibilities of developing a flower market and boost the state’s horticulture economy.
Stokes,who held a meeting with top officials,expressed satisfaction that an additional 3,798 hectares has been brought under fruit production during 2013-14. There is a target to increase it to 3,000 hectares this financial year.
“There is a need to encourage farmers to take up ventures like floriculture under protected cultivation to improve productivity and get better income,” Stokes said.
The department,she was informed,has an approved outlay of Rs 84.97 crore under the 2013-14 state plan,which has now been revised to Rs 95.56 crore. While funds worth Rs 32 crore were being spent under horticulture mission,Rs 8.08 crore was being sent under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Rs 3 crore under National Mission on Micro Irrigation during this financial year.
Stokes stressed on the need to establish a close and continuous link between extension personnel and farmers so that they be fully conversant with the latest technologies and can avail all benefits of the government’s development programmes.