Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said here today that loan agreement for the main project of HPSHIVA Project (Himachal Pradesh Sub-Tropical Horticulture, Irrigation and Value Addition) would be signed between the Asian Development Bank, Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh on 8th June, 2023. He said that total cost of this project would be Rs. 1292 crore, of which Rs. 1030 crore will be borne by the Asian Development Bank and Rs 262 crore by the state government.

The Chief Minister said that the State Government was making concerted efforts to implement this project. It was successfully taken up at various levels to get the approval of the project. With the implementation of the project, the farmers of the state would get self-employment opportunities and the economy of the state would also be strengthened, he added.

He said that the implementation of this project would be done in 28 development blocks of 7 districts including Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Solan, Sirmaur and Una in the low-lying areas of the state with sub-tropical climate.

Based on “Beej Se Bazar” concept the farmers will be connected to the market by adding value after harvest along with scientific and commercial agriculture techniques. This project is an important step towards realizing the dream of making Himachal Pradesh a “fruit state”. The criteria for the selection of clusters under the project have been developed in a participatory manner. Soil tests were done for crop suitability of the identified clusters and final selection of clusters was done after geospatial survey for identification of multi-year water sources and terrestrial feasibility for assured irrigation. Keeping in view the requirements of marketing, along with the market demand of 14 identified fruits and crops, various components of their value chain have also been studied.

The pilot phase of the HP Shiva project has already been successfully implemented, in which fruit plants were planted in an area of 200 hectares under 17 clusters, out of which farmers of 12 pilot clusters have produced orange, guava and pomegranate successfully.

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