Shimla (Aug 4): Himachal Pradesh government today requested the union agriculture ministry to sanction various incentives to apple growers of the himalayan states. The demand was made by a high level delegation headed by horticulture minister Narinder Bragta, who called on Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar here today.
J&K horticulture minister Shyam Lal Sharma, members of Parliament Anurag Singh Thakur, Virender Kashyap and Vimla Kashyap accompanied the minister. The horticulture minister demanded that hail storms should be declared as
natural calamity and the loss suffered by the fruit growers should be compensated under the central scheme.
He told that state has suffered loss of Rs 900 crore due to hail storms during last three years and told that although the central government has identified hail storm as one of the natural calmities under the water and climate related disasters, but has not treated it as a natural calamity for determing the loss of crop. He asked the central government to provide central assistance under HMNEH for installation of anti-hail gun systems in fruit growing areas of the state and told that at present the state has installed the facility at three places, which has shown positive results.
Bragta requested the central government to adopt multi-pronged strategy to protect the production and marketing of apples and demanded the enhancement of import duty on apples from China and other countries, that have created intense competition by dumping apples at major ports.