By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 22 Jun: A Japanese delegation supported by ‘Japan International Cooperation Agency’ met the State Agriculture and Horticulture Minister, Ganesh Joshi, today, to discuss the Uttarakhand Integrated Horticulture Development Project costing Rs 540 crore. It is assisted by JICA, Japan.
A loan agreement has been signed between the governments of Japan and India in this regard. The project is proposed to be operated in the four hill districts of Tehri, Uttarkashi, Nainital and Pithoragarh as a pilot and may spread to other districts in the later stage. Under this, activities like hi-tech nursery, micro-irrigation, promotion of European vegetable production, are also proposed to be conducted along with establishment of Centre of Excellence for Kiwi, and off season vegetables.
Minister Ganesh Joshi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly striving to double the income of farmers. There is immense potential in the field of horticulture in the state of Uttarakhand. To increase the income of farmers and to make horticulture important for the economy, the Uttarakhand Integrated Horticulture Development Project will prove to be a milestone. With the completion of the project, a large number of fruit growers will take interest in the production of fruits like kiwi, walnut and apple, which will strengthen their economy.
He urged the Japanese team to first test the feasibility of these schemes in the state by conducting pilot projects of kiwi, strawberry, cherry and other such horticultural products in which it has research and technical proficiency. Along with this, work should be done on the possibility of developing horticulture tourism and agricultural tourism as a by-product.
During this interaction Ramesh Chandra Sharma, Director of Uttarakhand Consulting Company, Japan, Kazumasa Sunagawa, CEO of Casley Co Inc (an IT firm working on Horticulture & Agriculture), Kohei Serizawa- MD of Casley India, Keiji Nakajima, Chairman of Nakajima Consultancy LLP, Nozomu Nakane, Senior Consultant of Abeam Co, Kenichiro Yagura, Senior Consultant of Abeam Co, Takehiro Makuta, CEO of Makuta Amenity (Agri-Tech Company), Amit Sharma- Project Manager of Casley India, Takahiro Ohara- Senior Developer of Casley Consulting, Sho Akiyama, Casley Co, Agriculture Secretary Shailesh Bagauli and Director, Horticulture, Dr HS Baweja were present.