ADB Approves $130 Mn Loan For Horticulture Sector In Himachal Pradesh
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ADB Approves $130 Mn Loan For Horticulture Sector In Himachal Pradesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 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.

It is expected income for at least 15,000 farm households in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Sirmour, Solan, and Una.

Farmers will be organized into cluster-wide community horticulture production and marketing associations and district-wide cooperative societies. They will be introduced to other agricultural practices such as intercropping, beekeeping, and other modern agronomic techniques and skills.

A farmer-producer company (FPC) will be created at the state level to lead agribusiness development with the aim of ensuring profitability and access to markets of subtropical horticulture.

ADB said the farmer producer company will handle business plan development; agribusiness promotion; and designing value-addition facilities such as sorting and packaging facilities, and storage and collection centers. (ANI)

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