The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $130 million loan to increase agricultural productivity and promote horticulture agribusinesses to raise farmers' income in Himachal Pradesh.
"More than half of Himachal Pradesh's land area is on the mountains and 90 per cent of the population lives in rural areas who are dependent on agriculture," said ADB Senior Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist for South Asia Sunae Kim.
"Improving subtropical horticulture in the state offers a lot of economic opportunities to farmer households. Supporting horticulture value chains will also boost the subsector's contribution to the country's development and food security," Kim added.
District-wide cooperative societies to be formed
It is expected income for at least 15,000 farm households in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Sirmour, Solan, and Una.
Farmers will be grouped into district-wide cooperative societies and cluster-wide community horticulture production and marketing groups.
They will learn about various agricultural approaches like intercropping, beekeeping, and other contemporary agronomic knowledge and abilities.
To ensure profitability and access to markets for subtropical horticulture, a farmer-producer corporation (FPC) will be established at the state level to oversee agribusiness growth.
According to ADB, the farmer-producer firm will be in charge of creating business plans, promoting agriculture, and constructing value-added facilities like sorting, packing, and storage facilities as well as collection and storage facilities.
With inputs from Agencies.
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