India: Horticulture project in Himachal gives new life to farmers

Fields abandoned in the lower hills of Himachal due to wildlife menace and lack of irrigation are now dotted with fruit trees under a horticulture project that provides for composite solar fencing and subsidy on agricultural equipment.

Kaihdru village on the Shimla-Hamirpur National Highway is one such village that has come alive with lush pomegranate orchards. Farmers Prakash Chand and Ramesh Chand of Kaihdru are a happy lot as their sweet lime, and pomegranate plants have started bearing fruits. 

Madan Lal, a horticulturist, said his family was upset due to crop damage by wild animals. However, the situation changed when the family switched to fruit crops. Similarly, another farmer Ram Chand said the new cropping idea had changed the life of his family, and they are now ready to adopt fruit crops in a big way.    

The change is the outcome of the Himachal Pradesh Sub-tropical Horticulture, Irrigation, and Value Addition (SHIVA) Pilot Project, which envisaged horticulture development on the basis of seed-to-market concept with provision for composite solar fencing to protect fruits from wild animals and subsidy on agricultural equipment and drip irrigation system.

Read more at outlookindia.com


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