1. Agriculture World

Himachal Pradesh to Import 5 lakh Plants from the United States & Siberia

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
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Under the World Bank-funded Horticulture Development Programme, the Horticulture Department will import over 5 lakh plants this year. The total consignment will include approximately four lakh apple plants (varieties and rootstocks) as well as 1.5 lakh other temperate fruit plants such as berries, walnuts, and so on.

“This year, we'll be bringing planting material from the United States and Siberia.” “A horticulture team will soon visit these two countries' nurseries to place the order,” said Horticulture Secretary Amitabh Awasthi.

Plants from Siberia will be imported

For the first time, plants from Siberia will be imported. Around nine lakh plants were imported from the United States last year. Previously, the department had imported the material from Italy, which had a very high mortality rate in post-entry quarantine facilities. "The survival rate of the material imported last year was pretty high, at over 95%,” Awasthi said.

Awasthi said it’s the last time the planting material will be imported under the World Bank Project, which is coming to an end in 2023. As per the information, the Horticulture Department has around 15 lakh rootstocks at its PCDOs.

“We've been propagating rootstocks for a few years now, and we now have enough quantity to start selling next year,” said a horticulture official. “This will be sold at a much lower price than the imported plants are currently given to growers,” the official said.

Instead of quarantining the plants for a year, some private importers sell them to farmers right away, risking the spread of viruses/diseases that may have come with the plants. “The Nursery Management Act should be used to prosecute violators,” Awasthy said.

About Horticulture Development Project:

The Government of Himachal Pradesh is implementing a World Bank-funded project, namely Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HPHDP) with the main purpose to help small & marginal farmers and agro-entrepreneurs in Himachal Pradesh to enhance the productivity, quality & market access of selected Horticulture commodities.

It has 4 components (i) Horticulture production and diversification, (ii) Value addition & Agro-enterprise development, (iii) Market development (iv) Project management.

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