Home Dehradun Climatic diversity boon to farmers of U’khand: Joshi

Climatic diversity boon to farmers of U’khand: Joshi


By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 24 Jan: Agriculture Minister Ganesh Joshi addressed a press conference at his camp office here today on the status of agriculture and horticulture in the state. Joshi said that the geographical conditions and climate of Uttarakhand are favourable for the production of a wide range of crops including vegetables and flowers. Due to the climatic diversity in the state, availability of vegetables and flowers is ensured throughout the year. Vegetables produced here due to different climatic conditions, which are generally off season in the plains of North India, are able to fetch good prices for the farmers.
The climate is also favourable for flower cultivation. The proximity to Delhi and Chandigarh, which were big markets for the flower trade, also ensure profitability to the floriculturists of Uttarakhand.
Joshi said that under NABARD’s RIDF scheme, a target has been fixed to install 18,200 naturally ventilated poly houses of an area of 100 square metres, each, at a total cost of Rs 313.95 crores. This decision was taken at a meeting with the Chief Secretary under RIDF scheme of NABARD. Joshi added that, for the implementation of the proposal, suggestions would be received from the farmers and people’s representatives within a week and these suggestions regarding marketing of crops produced by farmers in polyhouses, dealing with technical difficulties in production and marketing, etc., would also be included in the proposal.
The minister said that, after a week, a meeting with the farmers and related stakeholders would be held and the proposal would be finalised by incorporating the suggestions received.
Joshi said that the geographical conditions and climate of the state of Uttarakhand are also highly favourable for the production of potatoes. Potato production in the state is being done in the plains, the Terai areas and the hills at different times of the year. At present, 3.67 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes are being produced in the state in an area of about 26,867 hectares. Potato producing districts are mainly Udham Singh Nagar, Almora, Tehri, Pithoragarh, Haridwar, Uttarkashi and Nainital.
Joshi added that a proposal of Rs 104.75 crores has been prepared to ensure marketing arrangements while promoting potato production in Uttarakhand, for which necessary funds would be arranged under the Horticulture Department, District / State Sector Horticulture Mission, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.
It was stated by the minister that by promoting potato seed production these would also be made available to the farmers at the local level as per their demand, for which 10 state orchards have been established by the department. Potato seeds would be produced by setting up potato seed production centres. He asserted that there is a lot of potential for potato production in the state, the main reason for which was that the harvest of potatoes in hills is done at a time when there is no production in the plains. Under such circumstances, farmers get a better price. Also, due to the high demand in the market for hill varieties such as Pahari or Tumri potato, farmers from the hills are getting premium prices for their produce.
Joshi said that potato production would be increased choosing the farmers through a cluster based approach in the hills, the Terai region and the plains. At least 30-50 hectares of area would be covered in each cluster, in which potato seed production would be encouraged. Different clusters would be chosen for production of potatoes and potato seeds in accordance with the ago-climatic conditions and local geographic conditions.