April 10 : Rs. 85 crore Apple Rejuvenation Project would be changing apple root-stock in 1,2500 hectares in apple growing areas of the State. This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, while addressing a huge gathering of Jubbal and Kotkhai area, who had organised a thanks giving felicitation function here today.
Chief Minister said that the State Government would be implementing Rs. 85 crore Apple Rejuvenation Project in the apple growing areas of the State and replace old root stock with high yielding varieties of quality apple thereby generating more income to the growers. He said that innovations had been taking place in the horticulture sector and early growing high yielding varieties had been adopted in recent past, which had strengthened the economy of the fruit growers. He said that horticulture sector had been contributing about Rs. 2,000 crore towards the State Domestic Product and with the replacement of old stock the same would rise substantially. He said that agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry were the basic avocations of hilly people and major chunk of its population was dependant upon such activities for their livelihood even today as well. He said that keeping in view the importance of all three sectors he had retained its portfolios with him to personally monitor the progress of the policies and programmes being envisioned from time to time to strengthen the rural economy.
Prof. Dhumal said that Rs. 353 crore Pandit Deen Dayal Kisan Baagwan Samridhi Yojna had revolutionized the farm sector and large number of progressive farmers were availing benefits by diversifying their traditional cropping practices with the innovative ones.
He said that Rs. 300 crore Doodh Ganga project aimed at giving boost to animal husbandry activities had also been launched to bring about White Revolution in the State and strengthen the economy of rural masses.
He said that additionally Rs. 372 crore organic fertilizer project had also been posed for funding to the Japanese Government, which would further strengthen the farm sector. He said that all such projects were for the benefit of the rural people since with the strengthening of rural economy the state economy would get automatically strengthened. He appealed people to take benefit of such schemes and generate employment and self-employment avenues to themselves at their door-steps. He said that the State had entered into an MOU with Patanjli Yog Peeth with regard to sale of apple concentrate produced by HPMC. He said that it had provided a bulk buyer for the apple concentrate. He said that Patanjli Yog Peeth had also agreed to buy entire herbal produce of the State to use the same as herbal substance in medicines being manufactured by them.
Chief Minister reiterated the resolve of the State Government to change the rural scene completely by generating vast employment and self-employment avenues to the rural people under various schemes of the State Government. He said that apple growing areas were bound to witness change in their horticultural activities with the implementation of Apple Rejuvenation Project in the State. He assured people of Jubbal and Kotkhai that funds would not be any constraint in meeting developmental requirements of the people of the area.
Chief Minister was presented ‘Chaddar’ a token of blessings from dozens of local deities of Jubbal and Kotkhai to bless him on his 67th birthday.
Shri Narender Bragta, Horticulture Minister, welcomed the Chief Minister and greeted him on his 67th birthday on behalf of the people of Jubbal and Kotkhai, his home segment. He thanked the Chief Minister for providing a record budget of Rs. 354 crore for various developmental activities in Jubbal and Kotkhai during last two years, which had revolutionised developmental activities in the area. He detailed the developmental projects completed and the others under implementation in his home segment. He said that horticulture sector had been strengthened during pat two years and Himachal Pradesh had emerged the first state in the country where anti-hail gun and radar system would be established to protect apple growers against hail storms. He also thanked Chief Minister for sanctioning Rs. 85 crore Apple Rejuvenation Project for the horticulturists of the State which would add to the income of the growers of the fruit growers of the State. He assured Chief Minister on behalf of the people of his home segment that they would always be indebted to him for his generosity.
Mr. Justice Lokeshwar Panta, former Justice of Supreme Court of India, Shri Virender Kashyap, MP, Lok Sabha, Smt. Renu Chadda, Shri Tejwant Negi, Shri Kishori Lal, MLAs, Shri Chander Mohan Thakur, Chairman, HP State Cooperative Bank, Shri Gyan Chandel, Chairman, APMC and other prominent people from Jammu and Kotkhai were present among others on the occasion.